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Fort Worth Church Feels Charleston's Pain 16 Years After Deadly Attack

The shooting deaths of nine people during a prayer service at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina Wednesday night reawakened memories of a similar event for a Fort Worth congregation in 1999.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported: "On Sept. 15, 1999, horror struck Fort Worth’s Wedgwood Baptist Church when Larry Gene Ashbrook invaded a youth rally carrying 200 rounds of ammunition and a pipe bomb. Before he turned his gun on himself, seven people were injured and seven others were dead.

"Now the Wedgwood church community is praying for members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, who are mourning the loss of a pastor and eight others," according to the Star-TelegramRead here about the victims of the 1999 shooting at Wedgwood Baptist Church.

'Every Man's Pain Is Unique': Wedgwood Pastor Al Meredith speaks on the AME shooting

Dylann Roof, 21, is the charged shooter of nine church members, including the pastor and state senator, in Charleston. Roof's actions are believed to be a hate crime. 

Unlike the scenario in Fort Worth almost 16 years ago, Roof did not commit suicide but rather fled the scene,  making it 245 miles away in Shelby, North Carolina, where he was arrested by area police, according to The Associated Press.

In his Facebook profile picture, he's wearing a jacket adorned with patches from the "old apartheid regime in South Africa and the former African nation of Rhodesia, which was the name of Zimbabwe under white rule," according to the AP.  

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Dylann Roof

Watch President Obama's short speech in reaction to the Charleston shootings.  

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.