CRI在线收听:Police Describe US Shooting at Church 'A Hate Crime'

Nine people are dead following a mass shooting at a church in the US state of South Carolina.

The killings have taken place at a historic black church in the city of Charleston.

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen says they're currently treating the shooting as a potential hate-crime.

"We are looking for a white male, approximately 21-years old, sandy blonde hair and he obviously is extremely dangerous and what we are asking is that if anyone in the community has information about this particular individual that he contact law enforcement immediately."

The shooting has taken place during a Wednesday evening prayer service in the Emmanuel Methodist church.

Police say there are survivors.

However, they're not disclosing how many people survived, or the identities of those who were killed.

The church itself was established by the African-American community in Charleston in 1816, well before the abolition of slavery.