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We are now learning new information about the suspect in the Charleston, South Carolina church massacre.

Officials say the man suspected of shooting and killing nine people has been identified as 21-year-old Dylann Roof of Lexington, South Carolina. Roof was taken into custody on Thursday morning in Shelby, North Carolina after a citizen tip.

On Wednesday night, the alleged gunman opened fire inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston during bible study and killed six women and three men, including the pastor, state senator, Clementa Pinckney.

According to reports, Roof told his intended victims, “I want to shoot Black people” leading people to believe that the shooting was premeditated.

It has also been confirmed that the 21-year-old has a legal history. He was reportedly out on bond after a string of recent arrests on drug and trespassing charges. We are also hearing that Roof received a 45 caliber gun from his father for his birthday in April.

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Exclusive: The Bullet Scars That Will Forever Haunt Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Son, Etienne Maurice



Sheryl Lee Ralph shared a graphic photo on Instagram earlier this week of her son, Etienne Maurice, laying in a hospital bed bandaged up from bullet wounds. The purpose of the image was to be yet another voice calling to end gun violence.

On Wednesday, students across the country walked out of class to protest against gun violence, something that hit home for Ralph four years ago. “This mother wants #gunreform now! #guncontrol now,” she wrote.

It was during a night out in West Philadelphia that Ralph’s then 22-year-old child was robbed at gunpoint and shot three times; twice in the leg and one which grazed his forehead.

So as Ralph joined Wednesday’s national conversation about gun laws, HipHollywood talked exclusively with Etienne who shared exactly what went down the night a gun could have taken his life for good.

“I was shot four years ago, November 9 … I was black out drunk. The next thing I know I remember I woke up in the hospital, doctor said I had two bullet holes in my leg and a grazed bullet hole above my eyebrow.”

Maurice, who was robbed for his iPhone and his wallet, went on to tell us that this is something that he is reminded of constantly. “Having been shot is something that I carry with me every day. I still have numbness at the bottom of my leg from the nerve damage.”

And while he will always remember how he felt knowing his life almost ended, Etienne had a hard time fathoming how his famous mother felt. “We had the conversation about it last week and she said she peed on herself,” he told us.

For Maurice, he’s proud to see young children use their voices to make change. “There’s so many angles where we can talk about gun violence and how it’s effecting different communities,” he said. “Gun reform needs to take place now.”

Since that night, he hasn’t picked up a drink and has been now sober for four years. As for the suspects, a father-son duo, they are behind bars for attempted man slaughter.

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