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The Five

Nine people killed in shooting at Charleston, South Carolina church

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," June 18, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Dana Perino. The suspect accused of killing nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina last night is in custody, and a federal investigation is under way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LORETTA LYNCH, ATTORNEY GENERAL: This is a crime that has reached into the heart of that community. The Department of Justice has opened a hate crime investigation into this shooting incident. Acts like this one have no place in our country and no place in a civilized society.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: 21-year-old Dylann Roof was arrested this morning in North Carolina, more than 200 miles from the massacre scene during a traffic stop. Police received a tip about a suspicious car in the area and arrested Roof without incident, South Carolina now in mourning after this unthinkable tragedy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIKKI HALEY, SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR: We woke up today -- and the heart and soul of South Carolina was broken. And so we have some grieving to. And we've got some pain we have to go through.

JOSPEH RILEY, CHARLESTON MAYOR: We will work to heal them and love them and support them, and that church -- as long as we live.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: We have special coverage throughout the hour with breaking developments. And we begin with Fox's Rich Edson, live outside the Emanuel AME church in Charleston. Rich.

RICH EDSON, FOX NEWS: Good afternoon, Dana. And here we're waiting to see whether or not authorities will bring Dylann Roof back to Charleston, South Carolina. As you mentioned, authorities arrested him about four hours from here, right across the border in North Carolina. Police are saying that last evening he attended what was a bible study at the church over my shoulder here at 8 o'clock. By 9 o'clock he was shooting, leaving nine people dead, and then opening up a manhunt that brought authorities across state lines. The victims have been announced, aging anywhere from age 26 to age 87, including a library worker, a high school track coach and a state senator and pastor.

The federal government right now, according to Attorney General Loretta Lynch is assessing whether or not this meets the qualification, definition of a hate crime, whether this was racially motivated. This was a historically black church, the Emanuel African Mythical -- Methodist Episcopal Church. Its roots tracing all the way back to the 18th century.

And so federal officials aren't saying right now whether they will bring federal charges under hate crime laws and that something the FBI and other officials are investigating here. So from here we were waiting to see whether or not they bring him back to South Carolina. There have been vigils. There have been comments from those running for president, those local officials elected here among others. And of course, President Obama speaking earlier, offering his condolences, ending with saying how many times does he have to do this and calling for stronger gun control. Dana?

PERINO: Rich, thank you so much for joining us. We're going to take it around the table a little bit. And let's start -- Eric Bolling, have a chance to ask a question.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Rich, could you give us -- to talk to us a little bit about the reverend, the pastor. Great man, I guess. He's a state senator as well, but had some young children? Talk to the folks here about what kind of man he was.

EDSON: Sure. Two young children, one of the youngest black pastors in the state leading this congregation in this church here, he was a state senator, led the church here. Reports that he knew President Obama and you know folks are saying just about 40, 41-years-old and a real, real loss for the community here.

PERINO: Juan?

JUAN WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: You know Rich, the story about what happened inside is so amazing to me. Apparently, the shooter reloaded five times, I'm told. Is that right?

EDSON: That I'm not sure of. What we are hearing from various reports and law enforcement officials is that he sat in around 8 o'clock saying that he wanted to be part of their bible study that began at 8 o'clock. And they received a call by 9 o'clock saying there was a shooting inside. There are reports that he let one of the person -- people attending that church service go, so that they could tell what was going to happen inside there. And then he unloaded with some sort of automatic weapon, killing the remaining people inside.

WILLIAMS: And is there any confirmation that he said that the reason he had to do this is because black people were taking over the country, you're raping our women?

EDSON: That is something that has been reported. That's not something that we have independently confirmed. But if you look at his Facebook page, he's got two in his picture. He's got two pictures of him harkening back to racial regimes like a part side in South Africa, where you have a white minority dominating a black majority in that country. And so that's leading investigators to believe that along with the fact that this was done as a historically black church that there are racial motivations behind this. And that's something that the FBI and the attorney general say their investigating.

PERINO: Kimberly?

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Yeah. So there's so much we're still trying to get developing information about this. What can you tell us about any reaction or information about the family of the shooter?

EDSON: Well, right now the families have been confirming along with the coroner's office that they've lost their loved ones. And right now, there are no plans yet for funerals or memorial services. Imagine -- you have to imagine, 24 hours ago these worshippers were preparing to go to the church behind me and here we are 24 hours later and families have learned this news and are now arranging funeral services. But of course, people are talking about their loved ones, talking about the high school coach, the librarian who had worked at that library for 31 years. Of course, you mentioned the pastor and the state senator. And we're going to expect an outpouring like this, like we've been hearing over the last few hours now to continue for the days and certainly the weeks ahead.

GUILFOYLE: OK. What about the family of the shooter?

EDSON: We haven't heard much about the family of the shooter. What we do know is he has two prior arrests from this year. Police authorities are saying that essentially, he went to a mall, made strange comments. They arrested him. He was in possession of a prescription drug. Went back to the mall that he wasn't supposed to go back to a couple of months later, and that's it for priors that we know right now.

PERINO: All right, Gutfeld?

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Rich, I'm curious about this traffic stop because we keep being told there was no incident. I'm just wondering, how -- what -- how did they catch him? Was this a normal dragnet? What did he do? Does anybody have any idea how he reacted? It seems to me that like, the rare -- what's so rare about this is the guy wanted to live because he was so proud of his act, the coward.

EDSON: Yeah. And he was you know, just four hours away from here, there was a multistate dragnet trying to catch this guy. And what authorities are saying is that some local folks living up in the Shelby, North Carolina had noticed him acting suspiciously, had seen the shots on TV or on the internet that this was a suspect in the shooting down here in Charleston, South Carolina. Called the police, they pulled him over and you know we saw earlier on Fox News today, video of that car they arrested him in. Fully intact on a flatbed being brought to a police impound yard. So police really aren't saying much beyond other than there really was no incident beyond, they pulled him over and apprehended him.

PERINO: There's actually a very interesting story in the Shelby Star about the florist who spotted the car, called police and then followed the car for awhile. And then once they were -- when the florists were assured that the police had him, they did a u-turn and let the police do their work because it actually very interesting story and amazing citizens to have done that.

GUILFOYLE: That's fantastic. See something, say something.

PERINO: Yeah. Rich, one last question for you, I'm curious about if you just paint the scene for what it's like now. We're seeing a lot of the developments over the day, but what is the mood there on the streets?

EDSON: Well, it's incredibly somber. And you know you've got this enormous media presence here. They just opened Calhoun street, which where the church is, a couple of hours ago. That had been cordoned off since last evening. So you can say maybe a return to normalcy a little bit on this downtown area right here, but the church is still roped off. The investigation is still ongoing. There are folks holding signs up, calling for an end to gun violence. And just -- people walking around absolutely stunned that such a thing could happen.

PERINO: All right, Rich, thank you so much for joining us and we'll be back to you. Let's go now to Fox News Correspondent Joel Waldman. Joel, where are you?

JOEL WALDMAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Dana, we're out here on the corner of Calhoun street right outside of the entrance to the church, about a half block or so away. And interestingly, it's been less than 24 hours since this mass shooting occurred. And already, you're seeing people sort of gather out here, different sorts of social activists. I can tell you first hand, I just saw Reverend Al Sharpton appear on scene here. And now we're joined by another social activist, his name is Jack Logan and he runs a group which he's wearing on his shirt here, says put down the guns now, young people. And Jack, why this organization?

JACK LOGAN, SOCIAL ACTIVIST: Well, we started in 2010 due to two teens committing heinous crimes in Spartanburg County involving gun violence.

WALDMAN: So it's gun violence in South Carolina, and then of course, you hear and see what happens last night. And what prompts you to drive the four hours to come down here?

LOGAN: When I heard about the mass shooting of nine people, I could not lay down in my bed and rest, knowing that some young man who had just got a gun committed this heinous crime. That led me to drive down.

WALDMAN: Does it sting even more so knowing now that the Department of Justice is investigating this as a hate crime?

LOGAN: Right, it hurts knowing that anyone that would be prejudiced toward another person's skin or color.

WALDMAN: And if you could speak to the shooter in this case right now, what would you say to this person? Would you forgive him?

LOGAN: I can forgive him because I love the Lord. But at the same time, I want him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

WALDMAN: And I want it -- Dana, I know you want to ask him some questions, but lastly, President Obama came out today, he said he was heartbroken. But any sort of took the opportunity to talk about gun violence. Do you feel that was perhaps bad timing or premature?

LOGAN: I feel that was bad timing because he should not -- he had plenty of time to talk about gun violence with all the gun violence going on across America. I just want to see gun violence gun controls here in America.

WALDMAN: Jack --

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: Turn it over to Eric Bolling.

WALDMAN: Dana.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Joel, if you could hold that guy for one second.

WALDMAN: Sure.

BOLLING: This gentleman thinks it was too early for President Obama to make a comment on gun violence in America. Politicizing the tragedy, yet he's there with a t-shirt doing the exact same thing. Does he feel it that there's a time and a place for his cause as well?

WALDMAN: So Eric Bolling, one of the hosts of The Five wants to know if it's sort of hypocritical on your part. You're wearing a shirt that says put down the guns now, sort of making a political statement on the heels of this catastrophic event. Do you feel you are in the right place here by promoting this?

LOGAN: Yes because what we do, we hear adults involved in gun violence. We don't want young people, children and teens to copycat from an adult. We do that to prevent gun violence and we do it with an adult participate in gun violence.

WALDMAN: So you're afraid of a copycat killer coming out of the.

LOGAN: Right.

WALDMAN: Right now and that's why you feel that sense of urgency.

LOGAN: That's right. That's right.

WALDMAN: Eric, there's your answer on that one.

BOLLING: And it's a darn good answer. I accept that completely.

PERINO: All right, Kimberly?

GUILFOYLE: Yeah. So are we hearing anything else about the investigation, whether or not anybody might have been? I guess an influence on this young man, particularly getting him involved perhaps, with some groups or something, any kind of social media backing? Things like that that can explain the motive here?

WALDMAN: Well, right now the motive is really not clear. And as you know, the suspected shooter is still in North Carolina, unclear, whether he's going to come here. Authorities, both federal and local, however, are looking into white extremist groups, and thus far from what we have heard. His name is not coming up on any of these databases, but obviously it is very, very early in the investigation, again, less than 24 hours. So a motive still not exactly known, although, obviously they are investigating this as a hate crime. And he reportedly said some very inflammatory racial things before opening fire. So obviously, investigators.

GUILFOYLE: Right.

WALDMAN: Will look very.

GUILFOYLE: One of the survivors, yeah.

WALDMAN: Closely at all of that, guys.

PERINO: Greg, if you'll take a look at this, we're gonna show a picture here, Joel. We have a shot of the plane that is bringing Roof back to South Carolina. Greg, did you have a question for Joel?

GUTFELD: Yeah, I was curious about the bomb threat. Was the -- have they figured out who made the bomb threat? Was that just somebody or was it the same guy?

WALDMAN: You know we have not heard how that was related to the entire situation. Obviously, that bomb threat was made after the shooting, as I recollect, but no official word yet today, whether that was connected or not to Dylann Storm Roof. No word yet, Greg.

GUTFELD: Thanks.

PERINO: All right. And the last question to Juan.

WILLIAMS: You know I was curious about the idea of where he got the gun from. What I have read is that he got the gun as a gift from an uncle when he turned 21. Is that right?

GUILFOYLE: Dad.

GUTFELD: Dad.

GUILFOYLE: Dad.

WILLIAMS: Dad? OK, I have uncle.

GUTFELD: The uncle reported it. I think the uncle reported that his dad gave it to him.

WILLIAMS: I see. OK, so is that right?

WALDMAN: And that is what we are hearing here. It was given to him. It was a semi-automatic handgun from what we are being told and was given by a family member, presumed to be his father. Obviously, you know we don't know who this father is, but he will be regretting that decision in the coming days.

PERINO: All right, Joel, thank you so much. And just before we go to break, I want to just clarify -- we believe that it's the plane that Roof is on, that he'll be taken from North Carolina as he's extradited back to South Carolina to face his punishment and the trial. All right, thanks so much, Joel, much more to come on the Charleston church shooting throughout the hour. Next, what we know so far about the victims of this tragedy. Please stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This not happen at a club or a bar, church in a bible study, and that's your faith. That's all we have is our faith.

You tell people to go to -- be good to work, do right, go to church, these people were in church.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: Welcome back to our continuing coverage of the massacre in South Carolina. Now, you just heard from one of the community members in Charleston. It's impossible to make sense of this twisted tragedy. These victims were in church praying to God when the gunman opened fire. Nine people are dead, six females, three males, ranging in age from 26 to 87. Among them, the pastor of the Emanuel AME church, who's also a state senator named Clementa Pinckney, he was 41-years-old.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARLON KIMPSON, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE SENATOR: He was a giant. Senator Pinckney was a legend. He was the moral compass of the state senate.

REV. DR. NORVEL GOFF, AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH: He was a bridge builder. He was a family man, leaves behind in a senseless act by one shooter at the moment, a wife and two young daughters. And we solicit to your prayers and the prayers of the nation of -- for the family of Reverend Senator Pinckney and the other eight victims of this senseless act.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: All right, we want to go to Geraldo Rivera, who just made his way to Charleston. Geraldo, can you set the scene for us. And specifically, I believe -- maybe about an hour or so, there was a massive group that gathered in support of the church.

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS: They gathered, Eric, in grief, in sorrow. There is a quiet rage here about this awful act, but you know there is a racial divide in this country that has been exposed. Yet again, those nine people, we can dance around it, but they're dead because they're black. They're dead because a psycho, a sociopath, was so low down and dirty, that he ingratiated himself into that parish. You know, and these stories, generally speaking, as the story unfolds, facts change and people say, oh, this is what I thought is different than what I am finding out. In this story, which I've been reporting since 10 o'clock this morning, it has been remarkably consistent.

This young man, this 21-year-old man with this newly obtained .45 went into that church, pretended to be a worshipper with those poor people in there. And then after an hour, cold-bloodedly took out the deadly weapon and started pumping rounds into these people. Many of them, senior citizens, some of the best people in this community, small wonder it is torn asunder driving in form the airport. The radio stations, the talk radio stations talking about the horror of this deed. How this person could sit among them, look them in the eye, presumably even exchange conversation with them in the setting before the altar devoted to peace and love and then whip out that weapon and shoot them down because of their race. Eric, this is a horrible, horrible crime committed by a racist sociopath, a racist James Holmes, if I may. What he did was to desecrate that place of worship and to claim some of the most treasured lives in this now fractured community, Eric.

BOLLING: Geraldo -- Dana has a question.

PERINO: Geraldo, as you know, Charleston is also referred to as the holy city because there are so many different types of churches there and synagogues and mosques. And that's how the city was really founded. It was a place where you could go and all faiths were welcome. I'm just curious. I know you've just gotten there, but I do wonder about the ability for a community to have that interfaith juncture and to be able to try to explain to especially the children that evil is what this was -- the root cause of.

RIVERA: Dana, that's a wonderful, wonderful thought and a wonderful statement. And let me say that Charleston will handle this in its grief in a way that is respectful, in a way that does honor to this ancient town and to this community and to all its citizens. It is a place of faith. It is also there, Dana, and we can never lose sight of it, a place with a deep history in the oppression of black people. Slavery was -- there was a slave market here. I've toured it many times. That church sits on the sacred soil of a slave uprising in the beginning of the 19th century where several dozen, as I recall, slaves rose up against their oppressors only to be executed. So this -- there is history here. Martin Luther King spoke in that church. Coretta Scott King protested in the civil rights movement in that church. This is the second oldest AME church in North America. It is the oldest in the south. This is -- you know unfortunately, sadly, something that does not happen in a vacuum. There was talk and my black driver and I talking about it that the KKK was giving out pamphlets nearby, just a week ago.

I am curious how this 21-year-old -- we will trace how he got that .45 and it's indeed, after being arrested on meth and cocaine charges and some of the other offenses he has been accused of, his dad then gave him for his 21st birthday, regardless of his obviously troubled period that he was going through, this .45. We'll get to that. But was he acting spontaneously? I think that that is the most intriguing question to answer. Who motivated, what motivated, why did he choose that church? Obviously, he knew that there was a prayer meeting. He didn't just -- I am assuming, the evidence suggests, we don't know for sure. I am assuming he didn't just stumble on that prayer meeting, that he knew something was going on, and then to enter from that rear door and then sit amongst the parishioners, and then, to leave one of the adults alive to tell his terrible, filthy tale.

I think that this is something that everyone, all of us, should -- and I don't want to sound like -- you know, like a long-haired civil rights activist lawyer, like I was back in the 60s. But this is a time where everyone should declare. You know, there I say it, they we're all members of the AME church, the mother Emanuel Church that we stand together. Certainly, I am sure Charleston will do that. The city will react maturely, but it is deeply, grievously wounded by the fact that this 21-year-old, barely 21-year-old, could perpetrate such terrible violence and then spew that racial hatred that I'm doing this because you're raping our women. You know please, where does this come from? Where does this hatred come from? You know, this is something that all of us, regardless of political persuasion have to stand united against.

WILLIAMS: Well, Geraldo, that's what I wanted to get at with you, was that we know from Facebook, from a Facebook picture he had a jacket with the Rhodesian flag, with the South African flag on it. And so the question would be, is this part of some larger organization? Is there some underground in this area? Or is it part of some national movement? I think people especially some people in the black community might say this is a form of domestic terrorism.

RIVERA: I agree that this is terrorism by the way. I think that this is an act -- this is not only a race mass murder, but this is also an act of domestic terrorism. I think that if we keep it in the area under the umbrella of hatred that makes it a capital offense in the federal system. He will certainly -- I am sure, the South Carolina courts do not mess around. He will be facing the death penalty, of that I have no doubt. But Juan, you mentioned the emblems that he wore. There is no mistaking the message that he sought to project. There is no ambiguity about wearing the flag of racist, South Africa, the flag of apartheid, Rhodesia. These are statements of white supremacy. These are statements that enable someone filled with this hatred to perpetrate terrible violence in the name of racial purity, of purging. These are the worst memories that have been regurgitated, regurgitated by this terrible, terrible deed. And I am so keen on investigating what motivated him. Was there a person with more age? Was there a group? Did they plot? Did they time this attack on that church for maximum impact? His car was there at the ready. What if there wasn't that surveillance camera outside that church with the license plate. So clearly, visible that they could trace and put a name because he was involved in the criminal system, to get a name to that vehicle, then put out the all points bullets and the bolo, that alerted the good citizens of Shelby, North Carolina to his presence in their community.

BOLLING: Geraldo, I want to get Kimberly in here. She has a question.

GUILFOYLE: Yeah. Geraldo, I think you bring up an important point of it. And obviously, we kind -- we know what this is and its horrific evil and violence that erupted in a house of worship, which is really just unthinkable. However, as a former prosecutor, I'm very focused on the investigation, the tentacles of this. Where did this get created? What is the genesis in this young man and who was he working with. I think that's so important in terms of preventing things like this in the future.

RIVERA: I so agree, Kimberly. We have to find out the root of this particular evil. Was this a young man like James Holmes or like Adam Lanza in Newtown, Connecticut, who was self-starting or was he someone malevolently manipulated by a real professional hate monger, Kimberly. That of course will remain to be seen with the investigation.

BOLLING: All right, Geraldo, some great reporting. Thank you very much. And we're gonna be back to Geraldo later on the show.

President Obama delivered remarks on the tragedy earlier and brought up the issue of gun control during his statement, our reaction to that, when The Five returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not a time to be divisive. This is a time for to us come together. And we're hoping that we can keep cooler heads and we stay together. Because we just don't want this thing to erupt and then Charleston become something else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: Amen.

After an unspeakable crime, a number of human natural responses follow. Most people grieve, horror-stricken over this cowardly deed. Some make sense through degrees of connection: "Oh, my, I was just in Charleston last week" or "I have a friend who lives near there."

Then there are those who champion a point. One calls for stricter gun control and then another will say the opposite. Often the most certain of these voices are farthest from the pain, so it's easier to pontificate. See Twitter. But let's face it: You wouldn't offer commentary to a grieving mother or son, so why do it there or Facebook or anywhere?

We know horrors like this must be discussed and if evil didn't generate conversations, some may never ever take place. However, even as a paid loudmouth like I am, I say pipe down. Put off the pointing of fingers. We can unite, even temporarily, under universal sorrow and sympathy and then get back to the shouting later.

My theory is this: The more horrific the crime, the smaller the perpetrator. You can address the enormity of the act without attributing the magnitude to the ghoul involved. Why give a tiny speck of dirt the attention that it craves? Never award infamy with more infamy. We can't let a fiend test our fabric.

Instead, focus on those who are suffering and offer comfort when you can; and hope that the fiend, now captured, is rendered incapable of such cowardice again.

Let's go to somebody who did make it kind of political, Hillary. This was her comment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to face hard truths about race, violence, guns, and division. How many people do we need to see cut down before we act?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: What do you make of it, Kimberly? She hit all -- she said race, guns, violence, division. This was definitely racially motivated. A gun was involved. There was violence.

GUILFOYLE: We know that.

GUTFELD: We know that.

GUILFOYLE: We know that. Thanks for stating the obvious. We know this is a horrific tragedy, and we wish that we could make it go away in every way possible. The problem is that we have to say was this gun obtained legally, right? It was maybe not a good idea. We have to know more about the investigation.

But evil exists. People who want to do harm to others exist. So you have to understand that and deal with it in that context, in that frame of mind. You can't say ban all guns. Therefore nothing bad will ever happen. There's something at the root of this.

And this is a young man who was obviously very disturbed, an evil person. And let's see who, in fact, had some kind of influence. Where did this come from? That's what I think we should be focusing on and helping the community heal.

GUTFELD: I think he could be purely evil and purely racist.

GUILFOYLE: Correct.

GUTFELD: It goes together. Let's roll some tape of President Obama reacting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now is the time for mourning and for healing. But let's be clear. At some point we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. And at some point it's going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it. And for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: Juan, I don't doubt for a second his intent. I disagree with his judgment, but I'm not here to debate it. I just think that one side feels that way. Just let it go, right? Because at this time, why bother?

WILLIAMS: Well, I understand. In fact, what we heard from a young man that was interviewed earlier was just what you said. So I think people across racial lines will agree on this point, that you know, this is a time for mourning. It's a really sad moment. This is depressing to me.

But I got to say from my perspective the country has so many guns. You know, and the president, he's been thwarted. He was thwarted after Newtown. So he's been defeated on this, if it's a matter of politics. But I don't know why you wouldn't point out -- I think the numbers are pretty clear -- that it's in the last five to ten years that we've had most of the mass shootings in the country.

BOLLING: I don't think that's accurate.

WILLIAMS: I think that's right.

BOLLING: I don't think that's accurate at all. Let's not do this.

GUTFELD: Yes.

BOLLING: Can we just not have this mass shooting gun debate? I mean, bodies are still -- the families are still being notified, for God's sakes. It's not the time.

Look, if President Obama wants to politicize it or Hillary Clinton want to politicize it, I guess that's their right. But can we be really, really honest right here right now?

A lot of us point the finger at President Obama for not being able to say "Muslim extremists" when something bad happens and it's a Muslim extremist doing it. He refuses to do it. For us not to be able to say this is racially motivated, this is racism, folks. It is. I'm sorry. We have to be able to call it. We have to be fair and balanced about that on both sides of that coin.

GUTFELD: Dana.

PERINO: I was just going to say I think that for President Obama, when -- I understand where he's coming from when he's talking about other countries. Because I think that he could probably look back and point to almost every season of his presidency whereas he has had to deal with a mass shooting like this. Aurora, California; Newtown, Connecticut. This one. I'm probably forgetting another. But I think that that is where it comes from.

And when you are president of the United States or any other leader, like a governor, whoever you might be, you get to choose what you want to decide to talk about. And he's made a choice, and he's entered the debate. So I think that we just have to respect it and either engage in it or move on.

GUTFELD: All right. More to come on the shooting in Charleston when "The Five" returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GUILFOYLE: Back now with our continuing coverage of the church massacre in Charleston. We want to go to "Fox & Friends First" host Ainsley Earhardt, who is from South Carolina. And she's down there now with new information -- Ainsley.

AINSLEY EARHARDT, FOX NEWS: Hey, Kimberly, when this story was breaking this morning, of course, we came to work with heavy hearts. Heather Childers, my co-anchor and I, are both from the Carolinas. And this really just weighed heavy on us, because it hits very close to home.

I lived about two blocks this way on Smith Street when I lived here in college working for the NBC affiliate. This is the church back here with the steeple. And I drove by. And it's hard to believe that someone went in last night and shot nine people dead there.

There are flowers outside of that church. This is a very popular corner. You go that way, and you have bars and restaurants. This is Meeting Street right here. And I was talking to someone earlier who said they didn't want to be on camera, but they were supposed to be in church with their cousin that night, last night. And they had to work last night, working on a naval helicopter that's going to be used in one of the naval ceremonies coming up on Monday. Their boss asked them to stay late. He felt guilty because he was supposed to be sitting next to his cousin in church when his cousin was shot and killed last night.

We're learning so much about this investigation. My sources in Columbia say they wanted to learn more about this suspect, so they traced him back to Columbia, which is where he grew up, which is where I grew up, as well. Grew up in the Lexington 1 school district. He went to ninth grade, went through ninth grade and had to repeat ninth grade and dropped out in the month of February. So never finished ninth grade.

They searched his dad's home. They didn't find anything suspicious. Then they went to his house on the other side of Columbia. And they did find evidence that this was a hate crime. They found skinhead paraphernalia in his house, and they found videos that are anti-African-American.

We're not sure why he traveled two hours here to Charleston last night after he was at his house yesterday, officers are telling me. But we do know that the Reverend Pinckney, who was the reverend at this church, the victim, the senator that was killed, we do know that he was instrumental in getting those body cameras put on police officers after the Walter Scott trial and -- or after the Walter Scott shooting. And he was very instrumental in getting those body cameras. That was passed. They're now mandatory for officers here. And that just passed last week.

I do want to bring in one of his good friends who served in the legislature with him. This is Representative Peter McCoy.

Thanks for being with us, Peter. What did you know about him? I know you were good friends.

REP. PETER MCCOY, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: We were, Ainsley, and I appreciate you having me here. And I want, first of all, for everybody to know that Charleston is a city of hospitality and a city of love.

EARHARDT: Yes.

MCCOY: And we're strong and we're confident that that love will overcome the evil that happened last night.

Senator -- Senator Pinckney was -- is a man that was larger than life. As a young legislator, he helped guide me when I was up there, when I first came up there; helped me learn how to write bills, to get bills passed. He had a great, big booming voice. He didn't speak that often, but when he did speak, everybody listened. He had -- just a man of utmost respect. He's an icon here in this city. We will definitely miss him so much.

EARHARDT: A man of character. He got along with everyone from what I understand.

MCCOY: He absolutely did. Republican or Democrat, he was a friend across the aisle. A friend to everybody that he represented. And we're definitely going to miss him so much.

EARHARDT: Yes. Leaves behind two children and a wife here in Charleston.

MCCOY: He does. He does leave behind two children. And he's only 41 years old.

EARHARDT: I know, I know.

MCCOY: Was called to service in the legislature at an early age.

EARHARDT: Twenty-eight years old.

MCCOY: Twenty-three.

EARHARDT: Twenty-three!

MCCOY: Went in at 23. A young age.

EARHARDT: Younger than I thought. Wow. Very well-loved here in the Charleston community. This community is learning to forgive and coming together. There will be a vigil tomorrow night. We'll be here reporting on it all night and into tomorrow.

Back to you guys.

GUILFOYLE: All right. Thank you, Ainsley. An incredible man by all accounts.

(CROSSTALK)

GUILFOYLE: ... his family. "The Five" returns in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: Welcome back to "The Five." Before we go back to Geraldo, who's in Charleston, as you know, let me just tell you something about this church, this Emanuel Church.

I wrote a book about the black religious experience in America and had an opportunity to go visit this church. And so the reason I went is because Denmark Vesey, who was a freed slave back in the early 1800s, led a slave revolt out of this church. He's one of the founders of this church. So there's a deep sense of black history invested in this church.

And as you heard earlier, Dr. King has spoken at this church. We've seen people come and organize out of Charleston in terms of becoming a more active black community.

Geraldo, as you are there right now trying to deal with the aftermath of the recent shooting in South Carolina, deal with the aftermath of the history -- remember the girls who were bombed in the 16th Street Baptist church in Birmingham; recently in Wisconsin a group of Sikhs at a church again attacked. I think six people died in that attack. What do you think about the idea that this is also a religious -- an attack on Christians, Geraldo? Is that really scurrilous? Is that a diversion from the racial angle?

RIVERA: Well, I think that it's part of the story. Why? Because, in my view, the fact that these people were there at a Bible study volunteering their time, a man who's a state senator, as well as a guide and minister, folks who work hard, some elderly, all there gathered, the most gentle souls, Juan. You know, the lambs who were led to a slaughter, as it turns out.

And listening to the recitation, your accurate and poignant recitation of the racial history of violence here in this town, I, too -- the first thing I thought of when this story broke and I was live on the radio as it was -- as it was unfolding, was of 1963, was of those four little black girls walking to that church only to be -- to be blown to pieces by hateful people motivated by racist ugliness that knows no bounds.

Now I think it really is important. You mentioned Walter Scott. Let me just briefly interrupt myself. The Walter Scott shooting was the kind of event that could have led to an incendiary, you know, consequence with people being, you know, outraged and turning that rage, as they did in Baltimore, into violence.

But in the situation with Walter Scott, which happened in nearby North Charleston, which is a different town, a different city than Charleston, the way the authorities responded so quickly, indicting that officer, who remains behind bars -- Slager, I believe his name is. Remains behind bars now, charged with murder, now indicted. This is a mature place now where racial animus has not -- we can't be naive; it has not disappeared. But people have learned to live together in Charleston. They have learned to take the history that you so elegantly remind us of and make it as a communal strength to go forward together. They will go forward from this act.

But what happened here, make no mistake about it. This is part of a historic -- this is another event on a long chain of sorry melancholy racial history.

WILLIAMS: You're right -- Greg.

GUTFELD: Yes. To your point, was it religiously motivated? I think it was own religiously motivated because this fiend knew that it was an African church, so there would be blacks there. And it's a church, and they would most likely be unarmed. So it was sitting ducks. And it was the ducks that he wanted.

I want to ask Geraldo, when we see acts of racism like this, there's a tendency to say that this is representative of a racist society. I would posit that the revulsion, the national heavy revulsion towards this act represents feelings on race. Does that make sense?

RIVERA: I -- I think that -- well, I mentioned that I've been listening to local talk radio, the white stations, talk radio. And they tend to be conservative. Let's face it. They tend to be hard right. But they are all -- there's a couple of things going on.

There is anger. There is also a deep feeling of embarrassment. How dare this person do that? How dare this person make us look like, you know, Confederate flag-waving retrogrades who want to put black people back in their places?

I think that Charleston will respond well to this, Greg. And that church, it has seen too much bloodshed. That's for sure.

WILLIAMS: Geraldo, thank you so much. We appreciate you being there, taking that time. And good reporting. Geraldo, we appreciate it.

Final thoughts coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PERINO: All right. Some final thoughts in our remaining moments. I just wanted to mention Juan's book, obviously, that is one you should definitely check out. Another one, if you like to read novels and historical fiction, is called "The Invention of Wings" by Sue Monk Kidd. She actually is from Charleston. It's about the Grimke sisters, who helped end slavery. I commend that novel to you as well.

Take it around the table. Greg, start with you.

GUTFELD: Just a question, and someone can send this to me. Do classifications of crime have any effect in reducing incidents? I wonder if something's a hate crime or a terror crime or any charge at our disposal, does it have effect on anyone to reconsider a crime like this?

PERINO: You mean deterrence?

GUTFELD: Yes, I don't think you -- a fiend is (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

GUILFOYLE: Same question exists about the death penalty. People ask, does it operate as a deterrent to dissuade future behavior? Good question.

PERINO: You want to end on a note?

GUILFOYLE: I just want to say that I'm really just thinking and praying about the families and the victims. And I just -- I want to wake up one day where we get past the horrible acts of evil and violence like this.

PERINO: Eric.

BOLLING: So can you throw a picture of this guy up, Mr. Roof? Just take a quick picture there. You can tell a lot about a person by looking into their eyes. Look at that guy. For me I saw that picture, and I saw evil in those eyes. It scares me. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's drugs or just a sheer hatred for people. But...

GUILFOYLE: He went terribly wrong.

PERINO: We only have a few seconds left.

WILLIAMS: I just -- there's an A.P. story saying that he was concerned about the shootings, Trayvon Martin, Ferguson. I think we all have to take some care in the way that we present those issues. Because you know, you don't want to have people resort to this kind of action.

PERINO: All right. Our prayers for the victims of this tragedy and their loved ones.

Stay tuned for continuing coverage of the Charleston church shooting. That is it for us.

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