- Search The Registry
- Teacher’s Forum
- Street Team Youth Programs
- About Us
- Creating Support
- My Account
*On this date in 2015, a white-American man attending a bible study at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, shot nine African Americans to death.
The incident shook a nation already grappling with institutional racism and race-related violence. The gunman entered the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during a weekly Bible study meeting and opened fire around 9 p.m. Eight people were found dead at the scene, police said. Two others were transported to a hospital, where one later died.
The suspect, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, was captured the following morning in Shelby, North Carolina, according to Attorney General Loretta Lynch. According to Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen, Roof was arrested during a traffic stop.
The nine victims were:
Clementa Pinckney, South Carolina state Sen., the church’s pastor, and a married father of two. The 41-year-old pastor was leading a prayer service at the church when alleged gunman Dylann Storm Roof, 21, opened fire. Pinckney was remembered as an accomplished leader in the community.
Sharonda Coleman-Singleton a reverend at the church, was also a 45-year-old mother of three who coached the girls’ track team at Goose Creek High School in Goose Creek, S.C.
Cynthia Hurd, 54, the manager of St. Andrews Regional Library, was remembered as a woman who spent her life making sure residents of the local community had opportunities for personal growth and education.
DePayne Middleton-Doctor, former Charleston County employee 49, was among the victims. She was reportedly the mother of four girls and sang in the church’s choir.
Tywanza Sanders, 26, graduated from Allen University’s school’s Division of Business Administration in 2014. In a statement from the university, Sanders was remembered as “a quiet, well-known student who was committed to his education. He presented a warm and helpful spirit as he interacted with his colleagues.”
Myra Thompson, 59, had died. Her husband, the Rev. Anthony Thompson, is a vicar for Holy Trinity REC.
Ethel Lee Lance, 70, was a sexton who had reportedly worked at the church for over 30 years.
Daniel L. Simmons was a retired pastor from another church in Charleston and attended the Emanuel AME Church’s services every Sunday and Bible study every Wednesday.
Susie Jackson, 87, Jackson was active in the church, serving on the usher board and singing in the choir, according to the ABC affiliate.
In a statement at the White House, President Barack Obama mourned the victims and lamented the steady stream of mass shootings he has had to address while in office. "Once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun," he said. "At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence doesn’t happen in other countries." Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, at a news conference, said, “The only reason someone could walk into a church and shoot people praying is out of hate.” “It is the most dastardly act that one could possibly imagine.”