WASHINGTON: A gunman opened fire at a historic black church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina late Wednesday, police said.
It was not immediately clear how many people had been shot, but the Charleston Post and Courier said eight people had been wounded.
The Charleston police department said the suspect is a clean-shaven white man, aged about 21. As of 11:30 pm (0330 GMT), the suspect was still at large.
Local network ABC4 News said police were also investigating a possible bomb threat.
The shooting happened at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. According to its website, it is the oldest such church in the US south. AFP