Prayer meeting ended in hail of bullets
Roof, a slight 21 year old dressed in mens indoor soccer cleats hiking boots and sporting a nike hypervenom turf bowl cut, sat among Cynthia Hurd, 54, a longtime librarian whose death would prompt the immediate closure of all Charleston 16 public library branches.
Also in attendance were Susie Jackson, 87, and Ethel Lance, 70, two grandmothers who had been with the church for mens indoor soccer cleats decades. And Tywanza Sanders, 26, a recent business graduate from nearby Allen University.
The Wednesday night prayer meeting included Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, a church pastor and South Carolina state senator. Within hours, his desk at the South Carolina State House would be draped with black cloth and a single red rose.
Roof had entered the church and asked for Pinckney, and sat next to the pastor during the meeting. Parishioners encouraged the unknown young man to join in and, according to Charleston police chief Gregory Mullen, Roof even prayed with them. mass shooting, Roof was unusually deliberate. Very few wounded would leave the AME church that night, and the shooter would reload five times.
Most victims died at the scene, and the only witnesses who survived unscathed, reports said, were a five yearold girl who played dead, and a woman Roof spared so that she could the world what happened, according to a witness account.
Victims tried to reason with the shooter as the massacre progressed, but to no avail.
have to do it, he replied, according to an NBC interview by Sylvia Johnson, a cousin of Pinckney. rape our women and you taking over our country. And you have to go, he reportedly said.
Nine people died, six women and three men. Three of the slain were senior citizens.
a Christian, hardworking; I could call my granny for anything. I don anyone else like that, Jon Quil Lance, a grandson of victim Ethel Lance, told Charleston The Post and Courier while standing outside Medical University Hospital.
At the time, Lance did not know his grandmother was among the dead. Civil War.
Charleston, as one of the former centres of the Confederacy, still flies a Confederate battle flag outside its state house. On Thursday, it remained one of the few flags in the city not flying at half staff.
Social media images of Roof also showed him wearing a jacket adorned with the old flags of Apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia, the white minority ruled predecessor to Zimbabwe. Police had been barraged by tips in the hours after a surveillance camera image of Roof was released to the media. One tipster was mens indoor soccer cleats a childhood friend who remembered Roof clothing from a recent video game session they had held together.
Almost immediately, police announced they were treating the mass murder as having been motivated by hate.
this case, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it is a hate crime, police chief Greg Mullen told reporters.
The site of the massacre is one of the oldest black churches in the United States, with nike hypervenom turf roots stretching well back to the era of slavery.
you are is a very special place in Charleston, and it a very special place because this church and this site has been tied to the history and life of African Americans since about the early 1800s, Pinckney told a civil rights gathering at the church in 2013.
The church reorganized after the Civil War, and would go on to host a 1905 talk by black leader Booker T. Washington. Martin Luther King Jr. also made it a stop during the Civil Rights era mens indoor soccer cleats.