The Federal Burea of Investigatin on June 18 identified Dylann Roof, 21, as the prime suspect in a mass murder at Emanuel Methodist Episcopal Church in the historic downtown of Charleston, South Carolina. Roof has a record of having been arrested twice in the past in South Carolina. The Department of Justice is investigating the crime that claimed the lives of nine people as a hate crime. Among the dead was the church's pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was also a senator in the state legislature.
 
It is believed that the perpetrator of the crime attended the evening worship service at the church for approximately one hour before opening fire on those assembled there. On what is believed to be his Facebook page, Roof is wearing a black jacket bearing patches of what appear to be the flags of South Africa and Rhodesia from the apartheid era. Both of those countries practiced racist segregation in the past under governments led by whites. 
 
On the morning of June 18, officers visited the home of Root's mother. 
 
Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley condemned the shooting and said, “This is an unfathomable and unspeakable act by somebody filled by hate and with a deranged mind.” During an impromptu press conference after the shooting, Riley said “We are going to put our arms around that church and that church family.”

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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