Sir Paul McCartney honored the Charleston shooting victims during Dover, Delaware’s, Firefly music festival. On Friday evening, the legendary musician dedicated his performance of “The Long and Winding Road” to the victims and their families.
On June 17, an armed gunman opened fire and shot 10 members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Authorities later identified Dylann Storm Roof as their primary suspect.
Although he fled the scene, Roof was captured the following day during a traffic stop in North Carolina. Following his arrest, the suspect was extradited back to South Carolina.
— Mitch Pugh (@SCMitchP) June 21, 2015
As reported by the Guardian, the 21-year-old suspect had a history of racist behavior and drug abuse. Roof’s classmate John Mullins explains.
“He used drugs heavily a lot… He was like a pill popper, from what I understood. Like Xanax, and stuff like that… He made a lot of racist jokes, but… the things he said were kind of not joking.”
Prior to the Charleston church shooting, Dylann Storm Roof was arrested on charges of drug possession and trespassing. However, he did not have a history of violent crime.
During Friday’s performance, Sir Paul McCartney asked the audience to pray for the Charleston shooting victims and “for peace and harmony amongst people of different colors in the world.”
As reported by Rolling Stone, McCartney has shown a specific interest in racial tension and violence in the United States. In recent months, the former member of The Beatles said the unrest inspired him to write a song. However, he admitted the subjects are difficult to address.
“I was thinking recently about all these protests in New York and around the country… I thought it would be great to put something down about that, just to add my voice to the thousands of people walking in the streets. I thought it through, and it just didn’t come easily. I’m not giving up on it, but it didn’t come easily, whereas some other emotions might come easily to me.”
In addition to the Charleston church shooting victims, Sir Paul McCartney also honored Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, and Linda MsCartney during the show.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) June 19, 2015
As reported by Billboard, the 73-year-old musician performed an impressive set of 28 songs and four others during the encore.
“There was nary a dull moment as he breathlessly pounced from instrument to instrument, song to song, ceaselessly and effortlessly exceeding the unreachable expectations set before him.”
Sir Paul McCartney was not alone in his tribute to the Charleston shooting victims. Rappers Run the Jewels dedicated their performance of “A F**king Christmas Miracle” to the victims and their families during the same show.
[Image via Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Firefly]