There was an outpouring of support across the United States as vigils convene at churches from Los Angeles to Denver on Thursday (18 June), a day after nine black worshippers were shot dead during a Bible study at a historic African-American church in South Carolina.

In Charleston, mourners overflowed onto the streets in front the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where a young white man was suspected of shooting nine black people dead after spending an hour with them at the Bible meeting on Wednesday (17 June) evening.

Residents placed candles outside the church in Charleston, next to a growing memorial of flowers, plush toys, balloons and placards.

At the Second Presbyterian Church, also in Charleston, churchgoers joined hands as a reverend gave a sermon to remember those who lost their lives.

The mass shooting set off an intense 14-hour manhunt that ended with 21-year-old Dylann Roof arrested at a traffic stop in a small North Carolina town, 220 miles north of Charleston, where the church rampage occurred, officials said.

Lawanda Grey and her husband Joseph, a US Army veteran, brought flowers to the vigil.

"My heart just goes out the families. All my prayers go out to the families. My prayers go out to everyone for us to come together, be stronger, and to love one another, all the same," Lawanda Grey said.

Billie Jean Singleton, a grandmother from Charleston, said the shock has yet to lessen.

"It's like unbelievable. We couldn't believe it. You're at church serving God and for something like this to happen, it's just unbelievable," said Singleton, who knew several of the victims.

The suspect, Roof, who received a gun for a 21st birthday present in April and whose social media profile suggests a fascination with white supremacy, waived his right to extradition and was flown back to South Carolina hours after his arrest.

He is due for a bail hearing on Friday but will appear by video link from the Charleston-area detention centre where he was jailed, said Major Eric Watson, a Charleston County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Wednesday's gun violence at the nearly 200-year-old church caps a year of turmoil and protests over race relations, law enforcement and criminal justice in the US, stemming from a string of police slayings of unarmed black men.