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tv   New Day  CNN  June 18, 2015 3:00am-4:01am PDT

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the vehicle he has has a distinctive front license plate. so hopefully these things will help to identify this individual and our people our investigators are standing by. one of the things we have been able to do in the past couple of hours is set up a 1-800 number for any leads that could come into this task force. that will be 1-800-call-fbi. and the number is also listed there. there are operators standing by to take any information that would be provided. and what we're asking is regardless of how small people think the information they have might be we want them to call us. we have investigative teams prepared to go out to follow every lead that is sent in to this hotline number. and that's what we need at this point, we need information. we have a good starting point here. we've got a good suspect and what we need now is to get the assistance of the community. if they have seen his car, if they see this individual you do
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not want to approach this person. we want them to call 911 and allow us and our partners to address this situation. >> reporter: is he in the charleston area? >> we have no reason to believe he's not in the charleston area. he could be outside and we are sending this information broadly across all our law enforcement partners not only in the charleston region but on the east coast. >> reporter: any photo? >> as i said earlier, we believe this is a hate crime. that's how we are investigating it. we'll talk more at 7:00. anything about the suspect or the suspect vehicle?
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okay. >> reporter: have you contacted other local law enforcement? >> we have communication to other local law enforcement and throughout the united states. the communication is in place. the same information you have has been broadcast to law enforcement at the local, state and federal level all across the united states. [ [. >> we have agents all over the city along with law enforcement partners. so we'll be looking for this individual and this car just like everyone else. this is an all hands on deck
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effort with the community as well as law enforcement. and i think with that effort we'll find this person quickly. when people go out, they should be vigilant and aware of their surroundings. if they see anything suspicious they should call law enforcement. we'll announce more at 7:00. >> reporter: what type of vehicle are we talking? >> at this time we will not say the make and model. we just want people to look at this vehicle and if it matches the description, call law enforcement. thank you very much. we'll be back at 7:00. all right. so that's the chief of police greg mullen. doing this in stages at 7:00 eastern time they'll be back to give more details of what happened inside this historic church in south carolina.
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we do know at 8:00 last night there was a bible study going on. and the gunman we are putting a flier out for is this man, described in his 20s. you can see what he looks like and what he's wearing. he's a slender build. he was driving this car, a four-door dark-colored vehicle, a distinct license plate we are told. and they believe he's in the charleston area. nine people were killed and one was left alive, reportedly because the gunman wanted somebody to tell what happened. let's go to nick valencia who is on the scene in south carolina. what else can you do to fill in our understanding right now, nick? >> reporter: well, we just heard from the charleston city police chief, greg mullen who filled us in. this is an active manhunt, all hands on deck. this casts a side net across the city of charleston and beyond. right now there's no reason to believe he's outside the charleston area but they are
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not taking any chances, chris. they describe this individual as dangerous, extremely dangerous. and they are also appealing to the public asking for their help saying if you have any tips or saw anything, call 911. they believe this suspect acted alone. 5'9" slender build, a white male. and they are investigating this as a hate crime, chris. they said that they are involved with federal investigators as well as local investigators, including one of the victims here. we just heard that. he's got that confirmed from a short time ago. but the pastor of this local church also a state representative clementa pinckney was killed. we'll see how this unfolded overnight. breaking overnight, inside one of the oldest african-american churches the gunman still at large entering the emanuel african methodist
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episcopal church opening fire during a bible study killing nine people. >> several victims regarding that active shooter, give me at least four medic units, three super visors have been called. >> all units responding. >> the can you please send out an ems command page advising of an active shooter, multiple people down. >> reporter: clean-shaven white male, 21 years old. >> i promise we are going to do everything we can to lock him up and make sure he does not hurt anyone else. >> reporter: the victims have not yet been identified. the motive remains clear but many believe the shooting was a hate crime. >> this is the most unspeakable and heartbreaking tragedy. the only reason someone could walk into church and shoot
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people praying is out of hate. the only reason. that is the most dastardly act one can possibly imagine, and we will bring that person to justice as soon as possible. >> reporter: steps from the crime scene, a prayer circle forms as members of this tight-knit community try to grapple with this senseless crime. the whole community brought together looking for answers. joining me is nick valencia and robert costa in charleston who was covering the presidential candidates. hillary clinton was there, jeb bush was supposed to come and then this happened. let's forget about the politics. robert and nick if you can tell us we have all been there before this community is relevant politically. tell us about the church and what was going on there, robert.
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>> reporter: this is the heart of the faith community here in charleston south carolina. the african-american community in this city considers it a historic spot a part of their worship. and this is like martin luther king coming through. i saw them grieving last night, and this is a strike to them this is not just a place on the corner this is their central gathering place and it's a very important site. >> i'm sorry, i just spoke to another state representative marlon kemson who said he was just with representative clementa pinckney just hours before this occurred. and he said the state representatives were saying it was so important for pastor
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pinckney to show up. he left the budget session early and that's when the tragedy unfolded. >> nick you were telling us that pastor is a state senator and considered a pillar of the community. what do we know about the other victims? >> reporter: well, we don't know about much. just one name has been floated out and that of the state senator. there are at least eight other victims in this shooting right now. very little information is being leased about their identities. but we are expecting another press conference to be held later this morning. we are, perhaps, going to be given more information about the identities of the victims and why this senseless tragedy unfolded. really unspeakable here. as robert was talking about, this is one of the pillars of the community here. this is a -- a sight where the oldest one of the largest wildly known black churches in the united states not just here in charleston but unspeakable tragedy here robert. >> it's been fascinating to cover this all night.
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because what you see behind us is a church a block away. and the streets have been blocked off for hours as they were looking for the killer with a canine unit. they had police cars without their lights on to try to look down alley ways. now the streets have been opened up with the day started here in charleston, the sun has risen, and the search went to the outskirts of the city. the police are still searching for him. they have a description out there with a photo now, but we are still not sure where he is or why he did this. >> again, to recap, a gentleman -- this picture you're seeing there in front of you is a sandy haired young man in his 20s who walked into emanuel ame who sat down in the room for a moment before opening fire killing nine people. eight of them died there and one died later. nick can you give us an update on a number of the injuries because we understand there were a number of casualties? >> reporter: there were a number
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of casualties and we wish we had more information about those there, but we understand there were a handful of people there when this happened. you know we're working towards trying to find out more information. robert i don't know if you have anything else to offer but we are digging into the details right now. >> reporter: we do know something to drive a lot of interest in this as a hate crime is supposedly the reports are the same that one of the survivors may have intentionally been left alive by the gunman and language is being communicated that the gunman wanted to tell what happened here. are you hearing that as well? >> reporter: well, i have heard that the embassy suites where they have been grieving for hours. we are told the gunman lingered for a few moments after coming into the church and then opened fire. he did say something, but it is not reported what he said. >> let's talk about what we know
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about him as we see his picture on the right-hand side of the screen. that's the surveillance video of him entering. they have not said much of him entering his 20s. there's a nice picture of the car that was, we are told is his car. what more did you hear from the sources there about who this might be for or where they are looking? >> so he's got sandy blonde hair and fled immediately. now they are looking to the outskirts of the city but i just spoke to a few charleston officers and they say this is moving pretty rapidly even
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through the circumstance. >> they are asking for the public's assistance. anything and all information is welcome. you are being asked to call 911 here. a bible study session happening last night about 8:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m. when the shooter as robert would say, walked into first ame church lingered for just a bit and opened fire. perhaps perhaps. >> one quick thing to note. this city is the city of of /* support with people on the streets here. >> if this is him walking in we are used to hearing about repetitive firing and automatic weapons. we don't see that on him there
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in terms of what he brought in on him there. you can't tell what he's doing, but if he had a long gun, you would see it. >> i'm curious, nick what are you seeing on the ground there? because you are talking about the state leaders coming out. obviously, this is a great time of mourning. these are their neighbors, friends, colleagues and peers. the final days of classroom time are winding down do we know if parents are keeping kids home from school? what are the logistics right there around the church? >> reporter: we don't know that but what you can see from robert and i is that police have cornered this crime scene off and we are hearing them say back
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to the site of the shooting that this is an active crime scene. we got here about an hour and a half ago and have been talking to local residents. some asking us for information. what we have seen and what we know. right now still some of the communities are not understanding what took place here. but we are not only seeing representatives from the state representatives and the house of representatives but also local faith-based leaders walking through the streets trying to talk to people and work through exactly what happened. this is a very fluid situation, robert. at the courtyard marriott behind us there was a bomb threat in the general area and police pushed the crowd and the reporter back another block.
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and then you have the 1:00 a.m. press conference where mullen mayor mullen made a bombshell. >> robert i wanted to ask you, or nick i want to ask you again about the pictures of the suspect they have put out. these are clean screen grafts. people in the community will know who he is. and he talked about wearing a distinctive sweatshirt but take a look at the sweatshirt there and to what the license plate says. >> those are details we are not giving at the press conference but that's a distinctiontive
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distinctive sweatshirt. what we have on the screen graph, that's better than what we had a few hours ago. >> the fbi is now involved in this investigation. the initial reports were they were worried about a consequence of attacks. they believe this was done to target this group, that's why they call it a hate crime. the only question for investigators is whether this was a motive act of terrorism by either a right french group or who was involved in this. that's the historically well-known church here in this black community. what was going on there when
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this went down? >> reporter: hillary clinton was here along with jeb bush. you're right, chris, the fbi is here and chief mullen told us they are here because of what they are calling a hate crime, but two of nine people are dead. and because of the scope of the murder and the scope of the killing, that's why the fbi is getting involved. and the chief says he has reinforcements coming in from washington today. >> in terms of how to phase through the investigation, there are pictures of this man out there in terms of the urgency to find him. how fresh is the reporting?
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>> reporter: i'm sure they have a lot more details than they are putting out. but let's make one thing clear, chris, they are investigating this as a hate crime. there were people in there praying, putting on a bible study session talking about religion. this is one of the oldest largest black hurnlgs in the country. this is an unspeakable tragedy and something the community is coming to grips with. >> nick you and robert stay on the scene for us and see what you can figure out. whoever did this we'll catch him. i had to know what was going on in the service. so we'll check back in with you
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in a second. we have more on the manhunt for the two escaped prisoners from the new york prison. it is now day 13 and new photos of richard matt and david sweat are being released after what they might look like after two weeks on the run. we are live with the latest on that manhunt. alexandra, what do we know? >> reporter: hey, good morning, allyson. we are hearing from lyle mitchell who said he had no rule of escape or no chonlg of it. but he was left
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individuals. >> reporter: this morning the search area in upstate new york expands and shifts following more than 1400 leads. officials hoping these age progression mug shots help capture fugitives richard matt and david sweat. >> we are concentrating our efforts, not only in this vicinity but throughout the nation and beyond. >> reporter: according to officials, before matt broke out of prison he made a painting of joyce mitchell's children. the female prison employee accused of helping the inmates escape. she then gave it to her husband lyle as a wedding anniversary. she was having a relationship with richard matt dating as far back as 2013. investigators also subpoenaed mitchell's cell phone records. the clinton county district attorney said she used it to speak with matt's daughter at least once. >> one of the items she was discussing or she advised us
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the purpose of that was to discuss paintings that matt wanted to do. >> do you anything about these escape plans? >> reporter: lyle mitchell says he had no knowledge of his wife's affair. and that it was only after matt and sweat broke out that joyce mitchell warned her husband the men also had been plotting to kill him. she's pleaded not guilty to charges related to the escape. >> reporter: with two convicted killers managing to break out of the correctional facility you cannot wonder what life has been like for the inmates inside the prison for the last two weeks. we are now learning from a source with knowledge of the facility that the prison's honor block has been shut down and converted to regular cells. the honor block is the unit that sweat and matt were both in after being award eded more time
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out of their cell. >> we'll continue to update you on this situation and have more for you throughout the morning. there's a white male at large, approximately 21 years old, sandy blonde hair. he obviously is extremely dangerous.
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we have breaking news. nine people shot and killed in what police are calling a hate crime. a historic south carolina church is where this happened. right now police are in pursuit of this gunman. this image is released of the suspect. i want to bring in a former detective for the nypd. good to have you here. sorry under the circumstances, but you both have been on the ground. justin we'll start with you,
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what has law enforcement been doing so far? we have seen the image of the car. what theare the logistics of this? >> they are going to be looking for any type of video to identify the car, look for dents, those kinds of things. and couple it with cell phone records and we'll see how this plays out as a big part of this investigation. >> matthew, if we look more closely at this picture, this is so helpful when law enforcement has a picture to go on. and this is a good one in terms of clarity. however, his hair is peculiar and some people have suggested he may be wearing a wig. and his nose looks a little peculiar and discolored. as law enforcement, what do you see when you look at this picture? >> i see what you do but there's a unique emblem on the side of his shirt. they are using that as a tool to
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find the suspect in this case. >> maybe he worked somewhere or shopped somewhere. >> it could be a job, a school association, and that might be a critical clue in this case. >> obviously, the speculation is when they know more than we do. we know they are trying to get group identifiers here. when you are looking at an individual the assumption could be solo actor, somebody who is just a depraved individual that wanted to do something terrible perhaps targeting this black church. but as you fan out and try to see if it is part of an organization why would they think that and how would they try to develop connections? >> it's important as an investigation if you want to find out if this person is affiliated with a particular group. keep in mind the majority of incidents that happened in the united states between 2000 and 2013 were perpetrated by sole individuals and by most cases male. we don't know if they are going to be working backwards to figure this out in the days
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ahead. but the most significant part of your investigation is to find out who this person is and to make sure they don't do it again. >> another part is they will look at the church itself and find out what the communications are, if there are threats to the institution, what kind of threats have been coming out of there as well. >> sure. they have to see if there are any bomb threats or any other types of problems reported. >> as matthew was giving us the context, we are used to seeing long guns in these situations and he doesn't appear to have one. does that suggest that it may have been inside? what are the different questions you start requesting? >> most importantly we are looking at a semiautomatic pistol with a couple clicks in his possibilities, what have
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you. the issue is that when he walks in there, was he a member before or is this the first time he was there? hopefully someone can identify this man. >> and they put out a picture of the car. they cannot say definitively his his car, but it's a black four-door sedan and described it as having a distinctive license plate that should help. but why aren't they saying what is on the pittsburghminds of these investigators? >> well, they are looking into all these things. >> some of the chilling details out of the story is reportedly there was a young woman that was not injured and reportedly was told by the gunman i want you to tell other people what
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happened here and what has been done. what does that say to you? >> that's significant in respect. this is just a cold-blooded murderer and he is trying to make himself a lot more than he probably used to be. i'm not a psychologist but this is something that you look at and say, this guy has other issues at play and hopefully we'll find something on social media media. they also may not want to put out the license plate until they have that for sure. >> the gunman walked in and sat down before he opened fire. obviously, he was making sure he had as many targets as he wanted. that's something the authorities felt important to mention to people. staging the press conferences, the next one is at 7:00 local
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time. 7:00 eastern time they are focusing their efforts on finding this guy. that doesn't mean they don't know anything. >> i think it is important to know what we hear is not all the available information. not to compromise our ability to lead this investigation. >> they are trying to figure out what is on the shirt and the license plate and will release whatever information has been revealed to them at this 7:00 press conference. that will be more helpful, joe, however we also heard there are hundreds of tips that have already come in. somebody knows this person. somebody knows his guy. when the tips come in i saw him at a fast food place. maybe he just drove by. how do i know which ones to zero
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in on? calling for all this information, you are going to get bombarded. especially when they put this information out there first and will now see what they cultivate. i think that was their plan so to speak, and then capitalize on it. >> the if family member or somebody that went to high school with him, this is a man in his early 20s. they are counting on someone to say, i know that man. >> this was 8:00 to 9:00 at night. reports came out after 9:00 but no one knows when he constituent
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start started this. as long as we have a photo, that gives us a 90% chance of identifying the suspect. keep in mind while we are doing that the other investigation is occurring as well. they are looking at what type of gun was used how many guns were used? he'll go back to determine if this gun or other guns have been used in the crime. and that may also lead police back. >> stick around we have much more on this active hunt for this killer masser that took place inside a historic black church. plus the hate crime and what prompted it. we'll go live to the scene, next. we are communities trying to survive. why do we have to deal with
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we are following breaking news for you this morning. there was a massacre in a historic south carolina church. nine members were there for a bible study and shot dead while in worship. the gunman is still on the loose and there are a lot of leads here. most importantly what you're looking at right now. this is who authorities believe is responsible. they are describing him in his 20s. this is supposedly his vehicle. we'll get another press conference in about 20 minutes from now with more details on what happened inside and we'll carry that live. again, if we can put that picture up this is the best they have to go on right now. as we just heard from a member of the federal authorities, it gives them a 90% chance of finding the person. take a look at the picture. this is the manhunt going on. details, 5'9" slender build.
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he went in there, supposedly left people alive, there are reports he wanted people to know what happened here. that's why he left people alive. there's more information coming on. this is the tipline. the fbi is involved here because they are considering this a hate crime and are looking at this individual as well as any group affiliation that may have been here. let's get to cnn's nick valencia on the ground. nick what is the latest? >> reporter: well, what we can tell you right now is the gunman remains at large. investigators are casting a wide net throughout the city of charleston and beyond to look for this gunman. but i wanted to get some new information that we're just hearing from one of the state senators here. marlon kipson saying one of his colleagues parished in the brutal attack here overnight at the emanuel african methodist episcopal church. one of the deceased is state
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senator clementa pinckney. they wonder what would compel somebody to carry out such an unspeakable act as this. nine people are dead right now as a result of this shooting. the gunman at large, we just received a photo of that alleged suspect with a distinctive haircut described about 5'9" a white male. this is the suspect they are using right now. they have identified the car as well. so chris, a lot of moving parts here on the ground in charleston. police have cornered off this intersection where the shooting happened. you can see behind me the steeple of the historic church just in the background. this of course involves the fbi on the ground right now. so many questions left unanswered and we are working on figuring out what happened here and standing by for a press conference to happen later this morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> nick bring us all the
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developments that you get on the ground there. we'll check back in. meanwhile, we want to bring in cultural critic and writer makayla angela davis. makayla, thank you for being here this morning. >> good morning. >> we want to talk about this sad and tragic pattern. there are more houses of worship that have come under attack in the past decade and this one in particular this is the historic church of martin luther king he spoke there. it is possible this was a random act. >> it's strategic and i consider the gunman a terrorist. this is not just a historic church it's a symbol of american freedom and black freedom. and to know thatmy bible study is a ritual that has been in the community for generations. this is not random. this is not -- this is
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historically connected to places that are church that is are cornerstones. this is not just a random act but very calculated. >> following the terror aspect. the thing that strikes me is the fact that you go to a church for sanctuary from the ills of the world. you go to find solace in this crazy world we're living in. and those very people were there arguably doing just that. >> first off this morning, i'm just glad my grandparents weren't alive. they were threatened by kkk. these are the triggers that happened when black americans that have this heritage experience when these acts of terrorism happen. it can be used to calm you down
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and everyone should be in order. often with people never brought to justice, that's what this age is now. we are looking for someone, we've got a suspect, there are police -- this is where we have evolved, because historically no one knew what to look for. >> this is not just political but authorities believe this is not a random church. while there are many churches this one has historical context. and you would have to know this is a relevant church and bible study. >> this would be a relevant story no matter what. >> i know. however, they believe that this is a hate crime. and they are chasing on reports that this guy may have kept someone alive to say, tell
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people that this happened which, of course leads to the intentionality of the potential target. >> it gets more gruesome with these details. this is not just any church and it was not just any day. in this environment, right, we are looking at this avenue case in south carolina. >> walter scott was the man shot by a police officer while running away. the tape came out from someone's self-video and now there's a prosecution. >> that's right. and the pastor and senator who was murdered was advocating for for -- >> we thank you for being here and we do continue to follow what is happening outside of this church in charleston south
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carolina. hate crimes there, that's what this is being called so we'll speak with the pastor from a neighboring church about what he can tell us about this tragedy that is unfolding. when account lead craig wilson books at he gets a ready for you alert the second his room is ready. so he knows exactly when he can settle in and practice his big pitch. and when craig gets his pitch down pat, do you know what he becomes? great proposal! let's talk more over golf! great. better yet, how about over tennis? even better. a game changer! your 2 o'clock is here. oops, hold your horses. no problem. la quinta inns & suites is ready for you, so you'll be ready for business. the ready for you alert, only at laquinta! big day? ah, the usual.
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we do have breaking news this morning. nine people were shot and killed inside a historic south carolina church overnight. we have learned from a local lawmaker that the pastor is a state senator. his name is clementa pinckney and it's believed he lost his life. the man they are looking for is on the screen. this is his car. this is the person they believe
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responsible. they describe him in his 20s, slender in build, wearing a distinctive sweatshirt that you see what he looks like for yourself. please look at your screen right now if you can. the fbi is involved as well. we are understanding they are enhancing the video images of this man's shirt to see if the insignia is relevant and of his license plate. we'll get more from a press conference live in ten minutes. but this church is not just any church it is important in this community and may have been important to the shooter. we'll bring in john paul brown, the pastor of mount zion church a neighboring church of the one attacked. pastor thank you very much for joining us. sorry it's under these circumstances. what can you tell us about what this church means for the community and what was going on there last night? >> this church along with every other church this is emanuel
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ame church. my church is a daughter of ame church. and it's a statement in the community and has led to a fight for the civil rights movement. and it's a church just south side of the city limits of charleston during the time of slavery where slaves were running for freedom came. they gave us a message of freedom and hope which they made sure to spread. and also bishop nora of the seventh district here in charleston continue to urge us to carry
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te representative or state senator clementa pinckney what can you tell us about him? >> clementa pinckney was so studios and smart. he also through the ame church and the young people department led the group of young people in the ame church they grew up in the church. his demeanor was always helping people. it never changed. he even got older and met older folk and those related to this yes, sir, no sir, for the rights of others he had a mark on the area and the community and the state of south carolina. >> the authorities are calling this a hate crime. they believe this young man who went in there intended to do
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exactly this. has the church community receiving threats? is something here -- does this make sense to you in this community? >> reporter: this doesn't make sense. but this is a problem not just in south carolina. many people carry a gun, whether they are loving people but at some point the nation has to address this irn shoe of senseless violence especially when guns are involved. there's no way that in christians and believers in the faith can lock every church door. that would defeat the purpose of the message of south carolina. >> but you haven't been receiving threats. >> no we have not received any threats. it's not been tied to any threat
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this information is sad. it wasn't something that was able to be prepared for. it happened as a shock. we have not gotten our heads around it yet. the impact of it hasn't fully met with us. the ame church is calling for a prayer vigil today at 12:00 noon noon. we are looking to start a process of healing as chief mullen stated. we have to lean on each other to stop this senseless violence that's around. >> understood.
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>> it is one thing after another. it is up to us in the african-american community. that's the only thing that will change. >> thank you very much. good luck in helping the police. we have continued coverage of the massacre that happened at this church. in five minutes we expect new information. there will be a press conference held by all the local authorities, law enforcement, giving us new information of what they found from the surveillance video they have and will bring that to you at the top of the hour. don't go anywhere. a white man opens fire inside an african-american church while they were praying. that's unacceptable.
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we do want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is "new day" and we have breaking news for you this morning. police in south carolina hunting for a shooter whose rampage left nine people dead at a historic ame church in charleston overnight. the police chief releasing this image of the suspected shooter. officials called this a hate crime. this all happened during a bible study class, somewhere between 8:00 and 9:00 local time last night. it was at an episcopal church
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an african methodist episcopal church. we are waiting on a briefing from officials at any moment. we already heard from them once this morning where they put out the picture of the man they believe responsible for this and what may be his vehicle. they said they would come back to us with enhanced imaging that we understand the fbi is doing as well as enhanced understanding about why this was done and what happened inside. because that is very relevant to their investigation right now. this wasn't a simple situation where someone walked in, shot and left. so let's begin our complete coverage this morning with cnn's nick valencia on the ground. nick, what is the latest from charleston? >> reporter: good morning, chris. a fluid situation here in charleston where there is an active manhunt for a suspect in the shooting. the alleged suspect, 21 years old. no identification given but police say a distinctive haircut, distinctive sweatshirt and they believe they pinpointed the car he came in last night to


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