UPDATE: Dylann Roof has officially been charged with nine counts of murder and one count of weapon posession, the Associated Press reports.
People who know Dylann Roof say he'd had been planning something for months prior to the shooting.
Dalton Tyler, Roof's roommate who met the accused shooter about a year ago, told ABC that Roof had been "planning something like that for six months."
“He was big into segregation and other stuff,” Tyler said. “He said he wanted to start a civil war. He said he was going to do something like that and then kill himself.”
UPDATE: Dylann Roof has been spotted wearing a bulletproof vest while being escorted from the police station to the court.
Barack Obama issued a statement alongside Joe Biden this afternoon to express his sorrow and provide context about the importance of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. He also confirmed the FBI will be launching a hate crime investigation.
"I've had to make statements like this too many times," Obama said. "Communities have had to endure tragedies like this too many times. We as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn't happen in other places in this frequency. It is in our power to do something about it."
The FBI has confirmed the shooter's identity as Dylann Roof, 21, of Columbia, S.C. A mugshot was taken of Roof when he was arrested for trespassing in April.
And in a photo from his Facebook page he's wearing the flag of apartheid-era South Africa, Guardian reporter Jon Swaine points out.
Charleston police have released high quality photos of the Roof and his car. Chief Greg Mullen said the suspect attended a meeting at the church for about an hour before opening fire. In an interview with NBC News a victim's cousin who spoke with a survivor reported the gunman said: "I have to do it. You rape our women and you are taking over our country. And you have to go."
Six of the people killed were women, with another three men killed. One person has been identified as Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a South Carolina state senator who began preaching at 13 and was elected to the state House of Representatives at 23. Mullen said three people survived the attack without going further.
Pastor Tony Fields says 9 people are dead.
As the search for the suspect continues, police confirm 8 killed inside church, 2 transported to hospital and 1 has died.
Buzzfeed News reports Reverend Pinckney among Charleston victims.
Original Story: A white man, reportedly in his 20s opened fire on Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, a historic black church in the area. According to police, the shooter is still at-large. And though nothing has been confirmed, reports indicate that there may have been multiple fatalities, according to USA Today.
According to the church's website, it has one of the oldest and largest black congregations in the south.
The suspect in the shooting is a clean-shaven white man with a slender build wearing a gray hoodie, blue jeans and Timberland boots.
The church holds a Bible study in the basement every Wednesday evening and police are saying that a bomb threat was made in the area.
A reporter for WFMY News tweeted that people are being held at a restaurant near the scene as a helicopter circles above.
This story is still developing. Come back for more details.