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Hate crime investigation in SC after 9 killed in shooting at historic black church

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Police and the mayor in Charleston, South Carolina are calling Wednesday night’s fatal shooting at a historic black church a hate crime.

Police say a white man walked into Emanuel AME Church and stayed for nearly an hour before opening fire on a prayer meeting.

Nine people were killed, three men and six women. 

Police have released photos from surveillance video of the suspect, as well as the car he was driving.  Police could not elaborate on the make or model of his dark colored sedan.  They said he had a distinctive license plate.

A total of 13 people were inside the church during the shooting.  Three people and the gunman survived.

A tv station in Charleston reports that a five-year-old girl escaped by playing dead.