Reactions To Charleston Church Shooting Show That An Attack Like This Is An Attack On Us All

The shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, has left at least nine people dead and others injured, authorities said. Officials described the attack as a "hate crime" as a lone gunman opened fire inside the building — one of the oldest black churches in the nation — while a prayer meeting was taking place. Twitter reactions to the Charleston church shooting captured widespread shock at how and why a person could carry out a horrific attack at a place of worship, once again reopening discussions of race relations in the United States. Update: Police confirmed Thursday that six women and three men were killed in the shooting. Three people also survived.

The suspect was still at large as of early Thursday morning. Police have described the gunman as a white man in his early 20s, clean-shaven, with sandy blonde hair, who was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt or hoodie, blue jeans, and Timberland boots. Authorities are asking anyone with information to contact (843) 743-7200. Officials said a reward would be offered Thursday for information that led to his arrest.

On Twitter, people expressed their disgust at the shooting, with many not hesitating to call the senseless killings a "terrorist attack." Others said the shooting demonstrated the country's "culture of violence." The fact that a black church was targeted weighed heavy on many minds, as some were quick to point out that attacks on black communities were not unusual. And as race continues to stay a dominant topic in the United States, one thing's for sure — an attack like this is an attack on us all.