WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama addressed the nation after a shooting at a historic Charleston, South Carolina, church that killed nine people.
He called the nine deaths in the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting “senseless murders” Thursday and touched upon what he said was a need for more gun control in the wake of the tragedy.
“Any death of this sort is a tragedy. Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy,” Obama said, as Vice President Joe Biden stood alongside him. “There is something particularly heartbreaking about death happening in a place in which we seek solace, we seek peace.”
Obama declined to comment on specific details of the investigation, which currently centers on 21-year-old suspect Dylann Storm Roof, who was taken into custody late Thursday morning in Shelby, North Carolina, authorities have said.
But the President said the tragedy should refocus attention on preventing potential killers from getting their hands on guns.
“We do know that once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” Obama said at the White House. “At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this kind of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. It is in our power to do something about it.”
Witnesses say the gunman stood up at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and said he was there “to shoot black people,” a law enforcement official said. The shooter is also thought to have used a handgun, according to the official.
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