A shooter opened fire on Wednesday at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and was still at large, a police official said, following media reports of possible fatalities in the attack. Charleston Police Department spokesman Charles Francis said the shooting occurred at the Emanuel AME Church around 9 p.m. local time. He said police were still searching for a suspect, and he had no information on victims. Further details were not immediately available. North Carolina television station WGHP, a Fox affiliate, reported on its website that the shooting might have caused fatalities.

The website for the church said it has one of the largest and oldest black congregations in the region.


Police are saying on Twitter that they’re looking for an approximately 21-year-old white male.

Reports have come out that the pastor of the church was inside for a service at the time of the shooting. But it was unclear if the shooting took place inside the church.

The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is a historic African-American church that traces its roots to 1816, when several churches split from Charleston’s Methodist Episcopal church.

One of its founders, Denmark Vesey, tried to organize a slave revolt in 1822. He was caught, and white landowners had his church burned in revenge. Parishioners worshiped underground until after the Civil War.

GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has canceled Thursday events in the area because of the shooting.

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Eric Write head editor and chief at The Pluto Daily