Charleston Church Shooting Victims Paid For Hatred Although They Were Innocent of Any
The victims of the shooting were gathered at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church to study the Bible, when this historic church became the site of a deadly shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. There were approximately 13 people present, and one stranger. The stranger was a killer lying in wait, a man who would shoot nine churchgoers and their church leaders in cold blood in a shocking act of terrorism.
This monster came to the church in Charleston, two hours away from his home, and shot the leader dead, and several other people who came to the church on Wednesday to pray and learn more about the word of God.
Minister Rev. Clementa Pinckney died Wednesday doing the work he had always felt was right for him. He was spreading the Word and praying when he and eight others were killed in the massacre.
Pinckney, 41 started to preach nearly 30 years ago, at the age of 13.
Library worker Cynthia Hurd
Library worker Cynthia Hurd loved God, her family, books, her community, and her brother Malcolm Graham.
She was baptized in the same church and went there her whole life. Her late mother sang in the choir. She was attending the weeknight Bible study on Wednesday.
The library said she was much more than an employee, Hurd “dedicated her life to serving and improving the lives of others.”
All 16 branches of the library were closed Thursday in honor of Hurd, 54, who was manager of the St. Andrews Regional Library. The branch will be renamed in her honor. Hurd had worked for the library, “helping residents, making sure they had every opportunity for an education and personal growth for 31 years.”
Speech therapist Sharonda Singleton was also among victims
Sharonda Singleton was a speech therapist and an avid sportsman, she was a track coach at Goose Creek High School in South Carolina, having been a track and field athlete when she attended South Carolina State University in Orangeburg. Her son Chris, who was born in 1995, plays baseball for Charleston Southern University, Chris Singleton posted on Twitter asking people to pray for her.
Myra Thompson, Bible study teacher
Myra Thompson, 59, also died in the shooting, notified by the victim’s family. Gadsden had known Thompson for a decade.
Tywanza Sanders, the youngest victim
He was the youngest of the victims, he used to smile a lot and made his friends smile and be happy too.
T.J. Grant said, “If you met him, you knew you had a good friend on your side, regardless of anything. He made you smile even when you didn’t want to smile.”
Sanders was a well-known student committed to his education, he graduated in 2014 from Allen University.
Sanders’ most recent Facebook post, around 6 p.m. ET Wednesday was, “Ever notice how the mainstream media treats black protesters & white rioters differently?”
According to Buzzfeed, Tywanza Sanders, 26, died while trying to save his aunt during the Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston. He once posted an image of the front page of a local newspaper after Walter Scott was killed by a police officer.
The Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor
Rev. DePayne, 49, worked as an admissions coordinator at the Charleston Learning Center of Southern Wesleyan University.
“Always a warm and enthusiastic leader, DePayne truly believed in the mission of SWU, to help students achieve their potential by connecting faith with learning,” University President Todd Voss is quoted as saying.
Susie Jackson, 87, was a longtime member of the church
She was among the choir members of the church and also was on the usher board of the church, where she had been a member for many years.
Rev. Daniel L. Simmons
Rev. Daniel L. Simmons was a ministerial staff member at the church and died in the shooting. His family released this statement:
We would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers concerning our beloved father, and grandfather, Rev. Daniel Lee Simmons Sr. He was a distinguished man who served his God, country, and community well. His dedication to his profession and the AME church left a legacy for many to follow.
Rev. Simmons was the former pastor of several AME churches in the 7th Episcopal District, a war veteran, a member of Phi Beta Sigma, Fraternity Inc., and a loving father and grandfather. He was very proud of his family including the mother of his children, Annie Simmons, his two children Daniel Jr. and Rose Simmons, and his four grandchildren Alana, Daniel III, Ava, and Anya Simmons.
Although he died at the hands of hate, he lived in the hands of love. We believe Rev. Simmons would want people to celebrate his life in love and peace. Please continue to pray for our family and the families of the other victims.