Charleston, South Carolina

Everything You Should Know About The Charleston, South Carolina Shooting

Here's all the news being reported about the fatal shooting down in Charleston, S.C., the suspected killer and the victims.

Last night (June 17), Charleston, SC was the latest city to grieve over the loss of black life. A gunman entered the sanctuary of downtown’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church—one of Charleston’s most historical black churches—and opened fire during Bible study, killing nine people. The suspect in question has been identified as 21-year-old white male Dylann Storm Roof.

With all the thoughts and theories floating around the series of events, here are all the facts being reported about the Charleston shooting.

1) Around 8 p.m. Wednesday night (Jun. 17), security footage shows a young white male—suspected to be 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof—entering a prayer service at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. He stayed for approximately one hour before opening fire in the sanctuary. [MSN]

2) Here’s the run-down on Dylann Storm:

  • Storm is currently in police custody. Roof was arrested at 11 a.m. today (June 18) at a traffic stop in Shelby, N.C., about 250 miles outside of Charleston. According to Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen, Roof “was cooperative with the officer who stopped him.” [Washington Post]
  • According to court records, Storm is from Eastover, a town 25 miles outside Columbia [NY Times]
  • Roof already had two arrests for this year related to cocaine/LSD and trespassing. [WBTV]
  • The suspect's uncle, Carson Cowles, said that Roof received a .45-caliber pistol for his 21st birthday this year. [Reuters]
  • Sparse Facebook photos were found of Roof sporting a jacket with the flags of apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) stitched on them. [The Daily Beast]


3) According to Sylvia Johnson, a cousin of Rev. Pinckney, Roof specifically asked for the pastor. One of the survivors told her that the suspect “reloaded [the gun] five different times” and she tried to talk him out of shooting any more people. The suspect allegedly told the lone survivor, “I have to do it. You rape our women and you're taking over our country. And you have to go.” [MSN]

4) Six females and three males were killed, including the church’s pastor. Here are the victims:

  • State Senator Clemeta Pinckney, Emanuel AME's pastor and a popular community activist/civil rights leader
  • Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, high school coach for girls track and field and Reverend at Emanuel AME Church
  • Tywanza Sanders, a 2014 graduate from Allen University
  • Cynthia Hurd, 31-year employee of Charleston County Public Library
  • Myra Thompson, wife of Rev. Anthony Thompson from Holy Trinity REC Church in Charleston
  • Ethel Lee Lance, grandmother and church worker for over 30 years
  • Susie Jackson, cousin to Ethel Lee Lance [Mashable]

5) U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch told reporters that the Department of Justice is investigating the shooting as a hate crime. Emanuel AME is considered one of the oldest historically black churches in the country, originally founded nearly 200 years ago by worshippers fleeing racism. Later, it was burned to the ground for being linked to a thwarted slave revolt. For many, it was a symbol of black freedom. [Washington Post]

6) Today (Jun. 18), President Obama made a statement about the Charleston shooting, highlighting both its prominence in African American history and hinting at the need for gun control reform. “I’ve had to make statements like this too many times,” he said. “Communities have had to endure tragedies like this too many times.”

7) Celebrities such as Talib Kweli, Zendaya Coleman, Michelle Williams, John Legend, Bruno Mars, Ava DuVernay, Solange and more have all expressed their disgust at the violence and prayers and support for the city of Charleston. “They say pull your pants up, go to church,” Kweli said. “These people were at church. It don't get more respectable than that. STILL murdered. Now what?” [Billboard]

8) Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina, called for a prayer vigils in various towns in South Carolina. "While we all have heavy hearts today we join with Bishop Richard Norris, calling on everyone to unite in prayer," she said. [Facebook]

9) Right before he was killed, Tywanza Sanders—the youngest victim of the shooting—shared a SnapChat story of the doomed Bible study session. The video shows what looks like the top of Dylann Roof's head sitting beside one of his victims. [Mashable]

Photo Credit: Getty Images, Charleston Police Department

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Michael Loccisano

CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo Has Tested Positive For COVID-19

The 49-year-old brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Chris Cuomo announced in a tweet today (March 31) that he tested positive for COVID-19 after being exposed to people who are infected. Cuomo has extensively covered the coronavirus pandemic on the cable news network during his show titled, Cuomo Prime Time.

"Sooooo in these difficult times that seem to get more difficult and complicated by the day, I just found out that I am positive for coronavirus. I have been exposed to people in recent days who have subsequently tested positive and I had fever, chills and shortness of breath," Cuomo wrote in aTweet.

— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) March 31, 2020

The New York governor said in a press conference Tuesday (March 31) that his brother "is going to be fine."

"Even for essential workers, people have to be careful. Again, I've been trying to communicate that everyone – everyone – is subject to this virus," the governor said. "This virus is the great equalizer. My brother, Chris, is positive for coronavirus. Found out this morning. Now, he is going to be fine. He's young, in good shape, strong – not as strong as he thinks – he will be fine. But there's a lesson in this. He's an essential worker, a member of the press, so he's been out there. If you go out there, the chance that you'll get infected is very high."

Cuomo says his brother “is going to be fine.”

He said he’s young and strong, but jokes not as much as he thinks.

Chris will be quarantined in his basement and worried about his kids.

“He’s my best friend,” the governor said.

— Joseph Spector (@GannettAlbany) March 31, 2020

"He's just worried about his daughter and his kids and he hopes he didn't get them infected," the governor continued. "You don't really know Chris – you see Chris on his show at night … but you just see one dimension," Gov. Cuomo added.

According the New York Times, Cuomo plans to continue shooting his show, Cuomo Prime Time, from his basement, where he is quarantining himself.



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Here’s How New Orleans Is Being Affected By Coronavirus

New Orleans has twice as many COVID-19 cases per capita than any other county or parish in the country. This time last month, the Big Easy welcomed over a million visitors for Mardi Gras, which likely contributed to the diseases spreading rapidly around the city.

New Orleans registered its first case of COVID-19 on March 9. As of Friday (March 27), the city reported more than 20 additional coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total to 119. The death tole increased by 19% in one day, according to the Times-Picayune. That said, the number of those who have contracted the disease could vary due to a lack of testing in Louisiana, and around the country. The state reported 441 new cases as of Friday.

Male patients account for 43% of the COVID-19 cases in the state, while women make up 57%. The largest number of cases by age group are adults between the ages of 50-59. Orleans Parish, which is Louisiana’s third most populous parish behind East Baton Rouge and Jefferson Parish, reported 57 of the 87 coronavirus-related deaths.

At least 24% percent of New Orleans residents are living below the poverty line, and 1 in 5 households are without a vehicle, further limiting access to testing and treatment, USA Today reports. The poverty stats, compounded with lack of access to proper health care and those with underlying medical conditions, contribute to the spike in cases.

“New Orleans is preparing to mobilize in a way we hope we will never see again in our lifetimes,” New Orleans Homeland Security Director Collin Arnold said, per USA Today. “This disaster will define us for generations.”

The city is running out of hospital beds, and ventilators could be next on the list. Of the more the 773 reported patients hospitalized over COVID-19, 270 of them require ventilators. Louisiana has close to 2,800 ventilators statewide. While the city works to gain access to necessary medical supplies, others are stepping forward to help feed NOLA residents.

Earlier in the week, New Orleans Saints player Drew Brees and his wife, Brittany, announced that they are donating $5 million to various charities including Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health, Jimmy Johns, and Waitr, to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana.

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Brittany and I are committing $5,000,000 to the State of Louisiana in 2020. The priority now is helping our communities get through this tough time. After considerable research and conversations with local organizations, we will be mobilizing our partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health Systems, Walk-Ons, Jimmy Johns, Smalls Sliders and Waitr to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need. Let’s all do our part, maintain hope, and get through this together.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on Mar 26, 2020 at 8:31am PDT

In neighboring Mississippi, there are 570 confirmed COVID-19 cases and eight deaths out of 3,139 tests administered. Mississippi also has more women battling the disease (59%) than men (41%).

According to the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, New Orleans, Detroit, Chicago and other “hot spots” will have a worse week next week than they had this week.

In Milwaukee, the city’s Black community is being hit harder than any other group in the state. All of the eight deaths (five men and three women) in Milwaukee County were Black people, and seven of the eight were Milwaukee residents.

Philadelphia has at least 475 cases of the disease with over 2,200 confirmed cases statewide. On a positive note, more than 21,000 people  have tested negative for coronavirus in Pennsylvania.

With over 42,246 people testing positive for the disease, New York tops the list of coronavirus cases around the country and has been receiving the brunt of nationwide press around the pandemic, while states like Michigan, which falls fifth on the nationwide list, aren't generating the same amount of national headlines. The Midwestern state has been considered an epicenter  for the disease, and cities such as Detroit and Flint, where residents have been without clean water for years, are among the most vulnerable.

As of Thursday (March 28), the U.S. confirmed more cases of COVID-19 than any other country in the world. Over 100,000 people tested positive for the disease and while hospitals are still in need of critical supplies and testing kits, there is one small glimmer of hope: the fatality rate in the U.S. remains at less than 10% (1607 confirmed deaths), and over 2,000 people in the country have been reported as recovered from COVID-19.

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White Woman Sparks Altercation On American Airlines Flight After Using N-Word

Things got physical on an American Airlines flight after a white  passenger used the n-word against a Black crew member and a fellow passenger last Sunday (March 15).

“You’re gonna’ sit here and call him a f**ckng ni**er while you’re sitting beside an African-American woman? You are f**king stupid,” the Black woman tells the white woman in video footage recorded by another passenger on the flight. The recording begins after the woman referred to a crew member as a “ni**er.”

“You need to be locked the f**k up!” The black passenger says before calling the white passenger a “dumb as** b**ch.” The two go back and forth before the white woman calls the black woman a “ni**er” and immediately catches hands.

The Black woman can be heard saying, “You done lost your motherf**king mind!” as flight attendants attempt to break up the altercation.

The viral video was posted on Facebook with the caption, “Footage from a horrific flight with American Airlines today…there was a lot that [led] up to the altercation…Just unbelievable but when you try to bark like a dog don’t be surprised when you get walked like one.”

Watch the video below.

American Airlines 2020. 🌎😕

— Tice. (@_TheComeUp3) March 16, 2020

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