Barack Obama on Charleston shooting: The fact is 'this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries'

Video: 'I've had to make statements like this too many times'

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The Independent US

Whilst acknowledging that not all the facts were fully known about the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, and that now was a period "for mourning and for healing", President Barack Obama said that at some point down the line the USA had "to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries".

The president spoke on Thursday after nine worshippers were shot and killed on Wednesday evening at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Dylan Roof, a 21-year-old white man, is suspected of targeting the historic African-American church because of his racial hatred. Roof was arrested after a 14-hour manhunt.

Four pastors, including Democratic state Senator Clementa Pinckney, were among the six women and three men killed.

Mr. Obama, who has given at least 14 statements after a mass shooting during his time in office, said: "I've had to make statements like this too many times; communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times.

"Once again innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun."

Mr. Obama stressed that the US had an issue with gun violence and it is too early to tell whether he will try to introduce new gun legislation in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting.

Following the murder of 20 school children and six staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, in December 2012, the Assault Weapons Ban bill was proposed in Congress but it was defeated.