BREAKING: Reported Mass Shooting at Historically Black Church in Charleston, South Carolina

Police are responding to an apparent mass shooting at a historically Black church in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday evening, according to multiple local and national news reports. The exact number of people killed or injured remains unclear although some news outlets are reporting nine fatalities, including state senator Clementa C. Pinckney.  

A Charleston police spokesman has said the suspect is a white male who is 21 years old with sandy brown hair. The Charleston police chief, Gregory Mullen, also stated in a press conference that he believes the act was a hate crime. 

The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church describes itself as the "oldest AME church in the south," according to its website. In 1822, the church was investigated for planning a slave revolt. In 1969, Coretta Scott King also led civil rights marches from the church.

The church reportedly holds a Bible study every Wednesday evening.

Here is a breaking news clip from a South Carolina Fox affiliate:

MSNBC also had this report:

BREAKING: Shooting in downtown Charleston, South Carolina: http://on.msnbc.com/1MMZN9K

Posted by msnbc on Wednesday, June 17, 2015