A Texas firefighter was dismissed from his job on Friday over a controversial Facebook post in which he praised the actions of Dylann Roof, the man accused of shooting nine people inside Charleston, South Carolina’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
New York Daily News reports that Kurtis Cook, a volunteer firefighter at the Mabank Fire Department in Mabank, Texas, lost his job after posting a Facebook comment that encouraged the actions of a man accused of congregating with nine church-goers before opening fire on them. Cook commented on a South Carolina newspaper’s Facebook page, asserting that Roof “needs to be praised for the good deed he has done.”
After Cook posted the message on Facebook, the Mabank Fire Department began an internal investigation into the situation. Shortly after, fire officials announced that Cook no longer worked at the fire department.
“The Mabank Fire Department Command Staff has terminated Kurtis Cook as a volunteer Firefighter permanently and has trespassed him from all Mabank Fire Department property. The Mabank Fire Department does not condone nor promote these type of actions or thoughts. On behalf of all members, the Mabank Fire Department offers our deepest apologies to all that were offended by his actions and comments.”
Cook has yet to confirm or deny his actions, but the comment received backlash from another Facebook user, who encouraged people to share the post and expose the former firefighter’s negativity.
Meanwhile, Roof, who openly admits he shot numerous black people last Wednesday, recently had a bond hearing in Charleston, South Carolina. Several relatives of the slain church members told the 21-year-old that they forgive him for what he did, including the daughter of one of the victims, Ethel Lance.
Roof stood expressionless as he listened to Lance’s daughter forgive him for his actions.
“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 forgives you, and I forgive you.”
Dylann Roof faces nine counts of felony murder and a felony weapons charge. A $1 million bond was set for the weapons charge, and circuit judge is slated to hold a bond hearing shortly on the murder charges. However, authorities indicate that he will more than likely be denied bail for the murder charges.