News of the Charleston shooting is all over the place, and emotions are strong no matter who is talking about. On Friday, some of the strongest emotions may have come forth when suspect Dylann Roof appeared before a judge in South Carolina, and relatives of the victims got to speak to him and let him know what they were feeling.
Appearing through a video linkup into the courtroom, Roof, who has been charged with nine counts of murder and weapons possession, stared blankly forward or at the ground.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the 21-year-old Roof walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday night and opened fire. He ended up killing nine of them.
Felicia Sanders was in the church on Wednesday night when Roof walked in and stayed for about an hour before firing. She was in the room when he fatally shot nine people, including her son Tywanza. Sanders survived by pretending to be dead and laying on top of her granddaughter to protect her.
“We welcomed you Wednesday night in our Bible study with open arms.
“You have killed some of the most beautiful people that I know. Every fiber in my body hurts, and I’ll never be the same. Tywanza Sanders was my son, but Tywanza was my hero.
May God have mercy on you.”
Tears rolled down her face as she looked at Dylann Roof and tried to get out all the words she wanted to tell him. Others came forward as allowed by the judge, and one was Ethel Lance, the daughter of another victim from the Charleston church shooting.
She spoke of her mother.
“I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her again. But I forgive you. And have mercy on your soul. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people, but God forgive you, and I forgive you.”
7 Online reported that the magistrate judge did not have the authority to set the bond for the murder charges, but he could set one for the weapons possession charge. He ended up setting that bond at $1 million. A circuit court will set the murder charge bond at a later date.
Joey Meek, a former friend of Dylann Roof, had reconnected with him a couple weeks ago and said the suspect had become an avowed racist. While drinking with Roof one night, Meek said he told him that “blacks were taking over the world” and that “someone needed to do something about it for the white race.”
According to police, Roof has confessed to killing the nine people at the church in the Charleston shooting.
Earlier on Friday, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said that the alleged gunman should face the death penalty. Haley said that “we will absolutely want him to have the death penalty.” Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley doesn’t support the death penalty, but said, “If you’re going to have a death penalty, then this case would certainly merit it.”
Dylann Roof entered that church on Wednesday night and took out a weapon to kill nine people. The Charleston shooting is something that has brought about a lot of emotions such as sadness, anger, and confusion. In court on Friday, the relatives of the victims showed that it also brought forth forgiveness.
[Image via Spencer Means – Flickr]