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Nas Speculates That Charleston Shooter May Be Mentally Ill

The rapper also sent prayers to victims' families.

A suspect has been arrested in the tragic church shooting that took nine lives in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday night, while a nation still struggles to cope with what the Justice Department is now investigating as a hate crime.

21-year-old Dylann Roof has reportedly confessed to the crime, telling investigators that his plan was to star a race war. And while walking a red carpet at the premiere of the upcoming hip-hop fashion film "Fresh Dressed" on Thursday, Nas shared his feelings on the matter with VIBE.

In addition to explaining that racism is still a serious problem in the United States, he also addressed issues of mental illness.

“Mental illness is something that I wish we could detect earlier on — from birth,” Nas said. “So we don’t have to worry about, who’s who? Who are we walking around? Who are the people that we are living around us that are sick? That really need help.”

"How do we heal the people who are mentally ill?" he continued. "How do we make them more respectful of each other no matter what race you are. Racism is rotting America, it's been rotting America since America's inception. So this is a very serious time that we're moving into in 2015.

Lastly, he sent well-wishes to family members of the slain victims.

"Prayers to all of the families who had to witness such a horrific situation," he said. "My prayers go out to all of y'all."