TV Anchors Head to Charleston to Cover Deadly Church Shooting
Savannah Guthrie, David Muir and Scott Pelley all are headed to the area as news divisions mobilize to cover the deadly shooting at the historic Emanuel AME Church.
A deadly shooting that has left nine dead at the historic Emanuel AME Church, a beacon of the civil rights movement, has sent news divisions scrambling to mobilize crews.
All three broadcast evening news anchors are headed to Charleston, S.C.
World News Tonight anchor David Muir will lead ABC's coverage while senior national correspondent Cecilia Vega and correspondent Steve Osunsami will join Muir on the ground.
Today co-host Savannah Guthrie — who is filling in for Lester Holt while he is on vacation — will anchor Nightly News from Charleston. She'll join correspondents Chris Jansing, Ron Allen and Craig Melvin.
CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley will be live from Charleston, with CBS News correspondents Jeff Pegues and Elaine Quijano also reporting from the area.
CNN has a team of anchors and correspondents en route and already on the ground including Anderson Cooper, John Berman and Don Lemon as well as New Day co-hosts Alisyn Camerota and Michaela Pereira.
At Fox News, correspondents Rich Edson, Mike Tobin and Jonathan Serrie will be on the ground reporting.
Authorities have classified the shooting at the predominantly black church as a "hate crime." The horror unfolded Wednesday night at 9 p.m. when a gunman, identified in numerous press reports as Dylan Roof, 21, entered the church and began firing. Among the dead are Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Emanuel's pastor and a South Carolina state senator.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who is among the Republicans vying for the presidential nomination, released a statement condemning the worst mass shooting since 12 people were killed in a Washington state Navy Yard in 2013. "There are bad people in this world who are motivated by hate," said Graham in a statement released Thursday morning. "Every decent person has been victimized by the hateful, callous disregard for human life shown by the individual who perpetrated these horrible acts. Our sense of security and well-being has been robbed and shaken."
The NAACP also expressed outrage at the crime and condolences for the families of the victims.
"The NAACP was founded to fight against racial hatred and we are outraged that 106 years later, we are faced today with another mass hate crime," NAACP president Cornell William Brooks said. "There is no greater coward than a criminal who enters a house of God and slaughters innocent people engaged in the study of scripture."