President Barack Obama delivered a statement on the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina at the White House.
Mr Obama’s statement comes after police said a gunman shot and killed nine people at a historically African-American church, Emanuel AME Church.
“Any death of this sort is a tragedy, any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy,” he said. “There is something particularly heartbreaking about death happening at a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace.”
“I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities have had to endure tragedies like this too many times,” he continued. “Once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. We as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”
The suspect was identified as 21-year-old Dylann Roof of Columbia, South Carolina and was apprehended by the FBI Thursday morning.
The Department of Justice will conduct a hate crime investigation within the DOJ’s Civil Rights Divison