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Obama slams US gun culture after Charleston shooter arrested

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Dylann Roof, suspected shooter of Charleston massacre, arrested in South Carolina, June 18, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Miczek

US police arrested a white high school dropout Thursday suspected of carrying out a gun massacre at one of America's oldest black churches. The shooting, described as a "hate crime," is the latest in a string of mass shootings in the United States.


Yet another "senseless murder," declared President Barack Obama on Thursday, in the aftermath of a horrific mass shooting at Charleston Church, that killed nine people.

21 year old Dylan Roff was arrested hours after a frantic manhunt. Roff, an admirer of the apartheid, was caught at a traffic stop in North Carolina, the scene of the massacre in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

A visibly moved Barack Obama spoke of his frustration, and he urged America to come to grips with its gun culture.

"At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries," Obama said.

8 people were pronounced dead: 6 females, 2 males, another male died later in hospital. The church's pastor, 41-year old Clementa Pinckney, was a Democratic state senator known to Obama.

Members of the historic church's mainly black congregation had gathered the night before for a Bible study meeting, when the shooter walked into the building, sat for about an hour, then opened fire.

Survivors of the shooting told CNN that the gunman wanted them to live to tell the tale. In April Roff turned 21, and for his birthday was given a 45-caliber gun by his father, a senior law enforcement source briefed on the investigation said Thursday.

It's the fourteenth shooting since Barack Obama's ten-year term, and comes at a time of heightened racial tensions in America after several unarmed black men were killed at the hands of white police.