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Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof arrested: police

19 june 2015, 11:17

The 21-year-old white gunman suspected of killing nine people at a black church in the southeastern US city of Charleston was arrested Thursday, police chief Gregory Mullen announced, AFP reports.

Dylann Roof was taken into custody during a traffic stop in Shelby, North Carolina, about a four-hour drive from the scene of the mass shooting, Mullen told reporters.

The police chief said Charleston city detectives were preparing to fly to Shelby to interview Roof about what he called a "tragic, heinous crime."

The shooting Wednesday night at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston was one of the worst attacks on a place of worship in the country in recent years, and comes at a time of lingering racial tensions.

Several other people were wounded in the attack.

"The heart and soul of South Carolina was broken," said a tearful state Governor Nikki Haley.

"It is a very, very sad day in South Carolina. But it is a day that we will get through."

Mullen said police believe that Roof acted alone, and said the suspect cooperated with the officers who arrested him. 

But Mullen would not comment on whether Roof confessed to the crime.

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