Charleston-shooting prayer vigils evacuated due to bomb threats

A photojournalist based in Greenville, South Carolina, reports that a prayer vigil for the victims of the Charleston shooting massacre has just been evacuated by police due to a bomb threat.

The prayer vigil was organized by Allen Temple AME Church, an historic black church in Greenville. Congregants moved to the West End Community Development Center, a community center that offers classes, services, and youth camps to the area’s predominantly black residents. The center is located directly across the street from the church.

Before police evacuated the vigil, Heilbrunn posted a photo of attendees crying while assembled at the center.

The Allen Temple AME Church pastor told FOX Carolina earlier today that historically black AME churches across South Carolina scheduled simultaneous vigils for noon on Thursday. The channel had intended to livestream the vigil, but instead the live video feed showed the evacuated congregants standing outside on the sidewalk while being interviewed by police.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Greenville police and the West End Community Center for confirmation and details, and we will update when more information is available.

Update 1:05pm CT, June 18: A second bomb threat, this one at the Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, has also reportedly been evacuated due to a bomb threat. The connection between the two bomb threats is not yet clear.

Update 1:19pm CT, June 18: Local police have give the all clear on the bomb threat at Morris Brown AME.

Update 2:49pm CT, June 18: A third bomb threat has been called on the Charleston County Building, which emergency responders have evacuated.

Photo via Eneas De Troya / flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman

Mary Emily O'Hara

Mary Emily O'Hara

Mary Emily O'Hara is an LGBTQ reporter. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, NBC Out, Daily Dot, Broadly, Vice, the Daily Beast, the Advocate, Huffington Post, DNAinfo, Al Jazeera, and Portland's Pulitzer Prize-winning newsweekly Willamette Week, among other outlets.