Latest on church shooting: Funeral set for Sen. Pinckney

AP News
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Posted: Jun 20, 2015 10:54 PM
Latest on church shooting: Funeral set for Sen. Pinckney

9:45 p.m.

Funeral plans have been made for South Carolina state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, one of nine victims in the shooting massacre at a Charleston church.

A spokesman for Leevy's Funeral Home in Columbia confirmed the details to The State newspaper (http://bit.ly/1Ckulu8).

Pinckney's casket will be at the Statehouse for public viewing on Wednesday afternoon. Additional public viewings will be held Thursday at a Columbia church and at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where Pinckney was shot.

The funeral is set for 11 a.m. Friday at TD Arena on the College of Charleston campus.

Dylann Roof is charged with nine counts of murder in the death of Pinckney and the other victims.

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8:45 p.m.

Hundreds of protesters walked down the streets of Charleston, chanting "Black lives matter" and "We can't take it no more."

The peaceful march complied with police requests to reroute and ended as planned at the Daughters of the Confederacy building, where the group hung a banner with the names of the nine people shot to death in a massacre at a black church, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal.

Among the speakers was the Rev. Waltrina Middleton, a cousin of the Rev. Middleton-Doctor, who was slain.

"My ancestors were trotted through this market, their bodies on the ground of this Meeting Street, this marketplace," she said. "To know the trail of blood flows from here, it flows straight to Mother Emmanuel, it breaks my heart."

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7:45 p.m.

A large crowd rallied against the presence of the Confederate flag on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse, calling it a symbol of hatred, not heritage.

Police wouldn't give an estimate for attendance at Saturday's rally at the Statehouse in Columbia, but there appeared to be hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

They chanted "take it down" and ended the rally by singing "We Shall Overcome." The rally lasted more than an hour and had several speakers.

The rally comes three days after the shooting deaths of nine people in a massacre at a black church in Charleston. Police say 21-year-old Dylann Roof, who is white, went to the church and joined a Bible study group, then opened fire.

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7:10 p.m.

Hundreds of demonstrators are marching through downtown Charleston, holding signs that read: "Still We Rise" and "Stop White Terrorism."

It's at least the second march Saturday night. Police are blocking off streets as the protesters move around the city.

The marches are happening after a police say a young white man opened fire earlier this week in a racially motivated attack on a black church, killing nine parishioners.

Dylann Roof is in jail on nine counts of murder and a weapons charge.

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6:40 p.m.

About 150 people are marching on the streets of Charleston to remember the nine people who were gunned down in a historic black church.

The demonstrators had to walk through a group of about two dozen black men yelling at them. The black men wore shirts that said "Israel United in Christ," which the Southern Poverty Law Center has called a black supremacist group.

No problems were reported.

Marchers went on to sing together in front of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and later they prayed together.

Authorities say 21-year-old Dylann Roof fatally shot nine people inside the church on Wednesday night in a racially motivated attack. Roof is white.

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3 p.m.

A group of congregation members met Saturday in the church room where days earlier nine people were killed when a man who had joined their Bible study allegedly opened fire.

Harold Washington says it was an emotional meeting.

Of the room where fellow parishioners were killed, Washington said: "They did a good job cleaning it up. There were a few bullet holes around, but ... they cut them out so you don't see the actual holes."

Washington says he expects a packed, emotional service Sunday when the church reopens.

He said: "I think it's gonna be a touching moment — a lot of crying, hugging."

He also expects newcomers. He said: "We're gonna have people come by that we've never seen before and will probably never see again, and that's OK.

"It's a church of the Lord - you don't turn nobody down."

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2:55 p.m.

Two federal law enforcement officials say the FBI is investigating a website that appears to have photos of the Charleston church shooting suspect holding a Confederate flag along with a racist rant.

The purported manifesto was found on a website called LastRhodesian.com and surfaced Saturday. It's unclear whether it was written by Dylann Roof, the man arrested in the killing of nine people inside the church Wednesday night. The writings are in line with what Roof has told friends and what he said before allegedly opening fire in the historic black church Wednesday night.

Two federal law enforcement officials said the FBI is aware of the website and is reviewing it. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because one was not authorized to speak publicly on the case and the other because the investigation is ongoing.

-- Associated Press writers Meg Kinnard in Asheville, North Carolina, and Eric Tucker in Washington

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1:50 p.m.

People are crowding the sidewalk, wiping sweat from their brows and tears from their eyes, as they listen to pastors from across the country speak outside "Mother" Emmanuel AME Church.

Two pastors from Oregon and New York asked the crowd to join hands and pray. The men stood together on a long step stool and spoke about how their common religion is more important than their race.

The Rev. Kyle Kneen, who is white, is a retired pastor from Florence, Oregon. Pastor Dimas Salaberrios, who is black, came to Charleston from Astoria, New York.

"I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. I'm an African-American second," Salaberrios said. "God did not welcome me into the church just to hang out with black people."

The church was the site of a shooting rampage on Wednesday night, leaving nine people dead.

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1:40 p.m.

Congregation members say the historic black church where nine people were killed is going to re-open for Sunday morning service.

Cassie Watson said Saturday that the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church will open at 8:30 a.m. for Sunday school and 9 a.m. for a service.

Watson was one of more than a dozen people to enter the building after a cleaning crew had worked on it. Other congregation members also confirmed the church would open Sunday.

Authorities say 21-year-old Dylann Roof fatally shot nine people at the church on Wednesday night.

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1:10 p.m.

About six to 10 people trickled into the historic black church that was the scene of a deadly shooting rampage earlier this week.

Presumably congregation members, they came to Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Saturday through a parking lot that's still closed to the public. Some of them then embraced before entering the church through a side door on the street, where cleaning crews had been working earlier in the day.

Authorities say 21-year-old Dylann Roof also entered the church through a side door on the street level on Wednesday night and stayed at a Bible study for about an hour before opening fire, killing nine people.

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1 p.m.

Mitt Romney says it's time to take down the Confederate flag that's flying near the South Carolina Capitol.

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee tweets that the flag "is a symbol of racial hatred" to many people. His view: "Remove it now to honor" the nine victims of the church shooting in Charleston.

President Barack Obama has said he thinks the flag belongs in a museum.

South Carolina was the last state to fly the Confederate battle flag from its Capitol dome. In 2000, it was moved to a 30-foot flagpole in front of the Statehouse.

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12:40 p.m.

Photographs that appear to show the Charleston church shooting suspect holding a Confederate flag and burning an American flag appear with a racist rant on a newly uncovered website.

The purported manifesto was found on a website called LastRhodesian.com and surfaced Saturday. It's unclear if he wrote it but the writings are in line with what Roof has told friends and what he said before allegedly opening fire in the black church Wednesday night.

Internet registry records show that the website was registered on Feb. 9 via a Russian registry service — a common tactic use by those to obscure personal details or hide who is behind any particular website.

The 60 pictures include Roof holding a Confederate flag and a close-up of a .45-calibar pistol. He is accused of using a similar handgun in the church shooting.

The nearly 2,500-word essay starts the author saying they were not raised in a racist home, but concluded they needed to become violent after typing "black on White crime" into Google. The author says they chose Charleston because at one time it had the highest ratio of blacks to whites and white supremacist groups were not doing enough.

Charleston Police didn't immediately respond to a message.

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10:15 p.m.

The memorial in front of the black church is growing with bouquets of flowers, balloons and teddy bears.

On Saturday morning, a couple dozen people stood in front of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where police say a young white man opened fire at the end of a Bible study group and killed nine people on Wednesday night.

Roses are intertwined in the black wrought-iron fence in front of the church and colorful bouquets of flowers are piled on top of each other.

Authorities say 21-year-old Dylann Roof opened fire inside the church. He has been arrested and charged with nine counts of murder. He is currently being held in jail on a $1 million bond.