As if the black community hasn’t been through enough over the past few months. Last night, while congregating for bible study and prayer, church members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, South Carolina were gun down by a white man visiting the church that evening. The gunman reportedly sat in on the study until he opened fire, leaving only a grandmother and her grandchild to live to “tell everyone else what happened.” The police chief revealed that he believed it was a “hate crime.” The Charleston police department has issued a warrant for the man’s arrest and have the FBI assisting on the matter. The suspect has been identified as 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof, and he was captured this morning in Shelby, North Carolina, 200 miles from the shooting, and is currently in police custody. He was wearing a shirt with a confederate flag.
Amongst the victims of the shooting was also their church pastor, SC state senator, Clementa Pinckney. Pinckney was the youngest African American ever to be elected to the state legislature. He leaves behind two daughters, Eliana and Malana and his wife Jennifer. Many officials have reached out to send their condolences, including the state governor Nikki Haley stating, “Michael, Rena, Nalin and I are praying for the victims and families touched by tonight’s senseless tragedy at Emanuel AME Church. While we do not yet know all of the details, we do know that we’ll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another. Please join us in lifting up the victims and their families with our love and prayers.”