The identities of the nine victims — six women and three men — from Wednesday night’s shooting rampage by 21-year-old Dylann Roof at Emmanuel AME Church are beginning to be released. Here’s what we know of the victims.
From Charleston Southern University:
The Charleston Southern University family’s thoughts and prayers go out to all the individuals affected by the shooting last night at Emanuel AME Church.
“We are especially mourning the loss of Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, the mother of rising sophomore Chris Singleton,” said President Jairy C. Hunter Jr. “Chris is a member of our baseball team. The CSU family is praying for Chris and his family during this painful time. CSU coaches and campus ministers are assisting the Singleton family as they deal with this tragedy.”
Head coach Stuart Lake said the players and coaches are hurting and are praying for Chris and his family. “Chris’s mother was just that parent that as a coach you are proud to have as part of your program. What she brought to our team is immeasurable,” said Lake.
Charleston Southern is planning a prayer vigil on Monday, June 22 at 11:30 a.m. in Lightsey Chapel on the campus.
From the Charleston County Public Library :
Charleston County Public Library is devastated by the senseless shootings Wednesday night at Mother Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston that took the lives of nine members of our community, including one of our own – St. Andrews Regional Library Manager Cynthia Hurd. Cynthia was a tireless servant of the community who spent her life helping residents, making sure they had every opportunity for an education and personal growth.
To honor our co-worker and all those lost, Charleston County Public Library’s 16 locations are closed today, Thursday, June 18, 2015. Additionally, the St. Andrews Regional Library and John L. Dart Library will be closed Friday, June 19, 2015 and Main Library will open at 10 a.m. on Friday. If there are any other closings, they will be announced at a later time.
Cynthia worked with Charleston County Public Library 31 years, serving as branch manager of the John L. Dart Branch from 1990-2011 before becoming manager of the St. Andrews Regional Library.
Her loss is incomprehensible, and we ask for prayers for her family, her co-workers, her church and this entire community as we come together to face this tragic loss.
Pastor and state Senator Clementa Pinckney
President Barack Obama said he and first lady Michelle Obama knew Pinckney and the several other members of the church in remarks on the shooting Thursday. The president referred fondly to “Mother Emanuel” as more than a church, calling it “a sacred place in the history of Charleston and in the history of America.”
Pinckney was also a Democratic member of the South Carolina state Senate.
Pinckney’s sister, whose name has not been released, and recent university graduate Tywanza Sanders have also been named in various media outlets as victims of Wednesday night’s massacre.
This post will be updated as the victims’ identities are released.
Ethel Lance, 70, was a Charleston native who had been a member of the church for most of her life. She retired after working for more than 30 years on the housekeeping staff at the city’s Gaillard Auditorium.
She had served as a sexton at the church for the last five years, helping to keep the historic building clean. She was also a lover of gospel music.
“She was a God-fearing woman,” said granddaughter Najee Washington, 23, who lived with Lance. “She was the heart of the family, and she still is. She is a very caring, giving and loving woman. She was beautiful inside and out.”
Lance had five children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Susie Jackson, 87, was a longtime church member and sang in the choir. She and Ethel Lance were cousins. Jackson had recently visited her son and grandchildren in Cleveland, Ohio.
Tim Jackson told Cleveland television station WEWS that his grandmother was a loving, giving woman with a great smile.
“It’s just hard to process that my grandmother had to leave Earth this way,” he said. “It’s real, real hard. It’s challenging because I don’t believe she deserved to go this way.”
Susie Jackson, who was fond of playing slot machines, was scheduled to go on a church-sponsored bus trip to Chicago on Sunday and was looking forward to going to the top of the Willis Tower, said Jean Jackson, an associate member of the church.
Susie Jackson’s niece, Cynthia Taylor, told The Associated Press that she spoke with one of the women who survived the shooting at the church, whom she identified as Felecia Sanders. She said Sanders told her that she lay on top of her granddaughter and played dead while the shooter was still there.
This was supposed to be a year of growth for DePayne Middleton-Doctor.
The 49-year-old mother of four had started a new job as an enrollment counselor at Southern Wesleyan University’s Charleston campus in December. In January, after much thought and prayer, she decided to return to her childhood roots and attend the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She had attended a Baptist church for years, but she felt the time was right to switch.
Her sister, Bethane Middleton Brown, said Middleton-Doctor immersed herself in her new spiritual home immediately.
“As soon as she got there, she jumped in,” said Brown. Middleton-Doctor was a minister in the AME church and wanted to achieve a higher level of leadership. She led Wednesday night Bible studies there.
Middleton-Doctor’s life was consumed with the needs of four growing and active girls and helping to care for her elderly parents. She was always going somewhere, whether it was taking a parent to a doctor’s appointment or driving one of her girls to sports practice.
“We’d say, where are you, in your house? We called her car her house,” Brown said.
And still, she had time to devote to her faith and speak to her sister nearly every day.
“She was definitely my best friend,” Brown said.
Tywanza Sanders, 26, graduated last year from Allen University, where he studied business. In a news release, the school described Sanders as “a quiet, well-known student” with “a warm and helpful spirit.”
On his Instagram account, Sanders called himself a poet, artist and businessman. His photos were filled with friends, smiles, family members and motivational quotes.
Hours before the shooting, he put up his final post, a meme with a quote from Jackie Robinson: “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
Charleston mass shooting suspect in custody
A community in South Carolina is devastated after a massacre inside a place of worship. Nine were gunned down at a historically black church in Charleston. The suspect is in police custody.
CCTV America’s Roee Ruttenberg filed this report outside the church in South Carolina.
Charleston mass shooting suspect in custodyA community in South Carolina is devastated after a massacre inside a place of worship. Nine were gunned down at a historically black church in Charleston. The suspect is in police custody. CCTV America's Roee Ruttenberg filed this report outside the church in South Carolina.
Reverend Craig Robinson on South Carolina’s church shooting
For more on the details of the South Carolina church shooting, Reverend Craig Robinson joined CCTV America via Skype. He is the senior pastor at the Bethel AME Church in New York.
Reverend Craig Robinson on South Carolina church shootingFor more on the details of South Carolina church shooting, CCTV-America's Reverend Craig Robinson via Skype. He is the senior pastor at the Bethel AME Church in new york.
Ray Baker on South Carolina church shooting
For more on the shooting in Charleston and how it might shape dialogue in the U.S. about race relations, CCTV America spoke to Ray Baker. He’s a political commentator and journalist.
Ray Baker on South Carolina church shootingFor more on the shootings in Charleston and how it might shape dialogue in the U.S. about race relations, CCTV-America spoke to Ray Baker. He's a political commentator and journalist.
David Bullock on South Carolina church shooting
For more on the shootings, and what measures may be needed to prevent a similar tragedy, CCTV America spoke to Pastor David Bullock in Detroit. He’s the Pastor of the Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church.