MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Officials have confirmed that there is a bomb threat in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, where a shooting took place earlier at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, The Post and Courier reports.
"Everyone moving from Courtyard Marriott, officials say there is a bomb threat," Melissa Boughton, a reporter working for the Charleston daily said via Twitter on Wednesday.
Charleston Police said on Twitter that they "have not asked anyone to evacuate their home."
Local media cited unconfirmed reports as saying that there were at least 8 fatalities in the shooting.
A worker from the church has said 9 people are dead #chsnews— Melissa Boughton (@mboughtonPC) June 18, 2015
The suspect, a 21-year-old white male, is still at large, Charleston Police said via Twitter.
Charleston police also said that no victims have been identified in the shooting.
No victims in the Calhoun St shootings have been identified.— Charleston P.D. (@CharlestonPD) June 18, 2015
In a separate post, the police said they were still looking for the suspect in the shooting – a 21-year-old white male.
The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church has one of the largest and oldest African American congregations south of Baltimore, Maryland, according to the official website of the church.
A shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, has possibly resulted in several deaths, state Senator Marlon Kimpson was quoted by the Post and Courier.
"It’s my understanding that there are some very serious injuries and possibly deaths," Kimpson told the Charleston daily after talking with the city’s County Sheriff Al Cannon on Thursday.
Austin Rich, a white male photographer who fit the suspect description, was stopped by city police shortly after the shooting but was later released.
Marlon Kimpson’s collegue, Democratic Senator Clementa Pinckney, who is the church’s pastor, was believed to be inside of the church at the time of the Wednesday shooting, according to the Charleston Post and Courier.