Charleston Shooting, Church

UPDATE: Police have now apprehended suspected gunman Dylann Roof.


Nine people were shot and killed Wednesday in Charleston, South Carolina, during a Bible study at one of the nation's oldest African-American churches.

Per NBC News, authorities said it was a white man aged 21 to 25 who opened fire inside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

"I do believe this was a hate crime," said Charleston Police Chief Gregory Mullen.

Some initial media reports drew criticism for failing to identify the suspect's race. Rob Lowe was one of many who took to Twitter to express his frustrations.

Lowe was not the only celebrity to address racism when reacting to this horrific tragedy.

Many more stars expressed their grief on social media as well, sending thoughts, prayers and well-wishes to those affected.

"This is a tragedy that no community should have to experience. It is senseless," said Mullen, Charleston's Police Chief. "It is unfathomable that somebody in today's society would walk into a church, when people are having a prayer meeting, and take their lives."

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

(Originally published June 18, 2015 at 6:53 a.m. PT)

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