Charleston shooting: Photo shows impromptu prayer service held outside church for victims of the South Carolina attack

Several men, led by Rev James Johnson, stood in a circle in front of a hotel near to Emanuel AME Church, near to the centre of Charleston

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This is the moment several men staged an impromptu prayer service for those who died in the fatal shootings at a church in South Carolina.

Several men stood in a circle in front of a hotel near to Emanuel AME Church, near to the centre of Charleston.

"We pray for the families, they've got a long road ahead of them," Reverend James Johnson, a local civil rights activist, said during the impromptu prayer service.

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A white gunman killed nine people at a historic African-American church, with police describing the attack as a "hate crime".

The suspect, who police say is a 21-year-old white man wearing a sweatshirt, jeans and boots, was still at large hours after the shooting on Wednesday evening.

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