Nine innocent people were gunned down Wednesday night at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina during a prayer. Here’s to getting to know the lives 21 year old Dylan Roof took away too soon.
This woman goes by the name of Sharonda Coleman-Singleton and was 45 years old when she was killed. Sharonda was a mother of three, reverend, and high school track coach. She was a coach for the girls team at Goose Creek High School. Singleton’s cousin, Constance Kinder, said she was a beautiful spirit and “Sharonda was pretty on the outside and just as beautiful on the inside — the one thing I know for sure she loved the Lord so she was where she enjoyed being.”
This was Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who was also a South Carolina senator, husband, father, and only 41 years old. Pinckney played a key role in getting police officers in the state to wear body cameras. Pinckney’s senate seat was covered in black cloth Thursday. Rev. Al Sharpton had a few words to say about the passing:
“It is chilling to me that just over two months ago while I was in North Charleston over the police shooting of Walter Scott, I’m reminded that Rev. Pinckney was among the clergy who stood with me at that occasion and now he has fallen victim to senseless violence.”
This woman’s name is Cynthia Hurd, a librarian who worked at the public library for 31 years and was serving as the manager at St. Andrews Regional Library since 2011. She was 54 years old and spent her life helping the community gain opportunities for education and personal growth. Elliott Summey, who is the current chair of the Charleston County Council, said that the St. Andrews Regional Library would be named the Cynthia Hurd Regional Library from this day on. “It’s the very least we can do for someone who was a true public servant,” he said. Her brother, Malcolm Graham, said it would have been typical of her to be at church on Sunday and called her a nerd for receiving a masters in library science from the University of South Carolina.
Daniel L. Simmons, 74, was both a staff member at the church and father/husband. His daughter confirmed that he attended Bible study every Wednesday, and his son said they are doing okay with the “grace and peace that God has planted.” He was a graduate from Allen University and a member of Phi Sigma Beta.