Police release suspect's picture in US church shooting

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Police released new images Thursday of the man suspected of killing nine people in a shooting at a historic black US church.

Initial security camera footage released by authorities in Charleston, South Carolina shows a slender young white man with dark blond or brown hair in a distinctive bowl-type haircut and wearing a grey sweater.

A later photo of the man taken just as he prepares to enter the church shows some sort of black cloth or satchel hanging from underneath the front of his sweater, and what appears to be a strap over his right shoulder.

There was no immediate word on what these were. Police said he is about 5 foot, 9 inches tall and is in his early 20s.

The suspect was seen leaving the church in a black sedan, police said.

The gunman was on the run Thursday after fatally shooting at least nine worshippers, including the pastor, in a predominantly black church in downtown Charleston, in what police called a hate crime.

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