The “unfathomable” and most heart breaking act of violence has rocked the African American community once again after nine people were killed while at a prayer service.
According to ABC News, a white male in his early 20s described as “clean shaven” sat down at the historic predominantly black AME Church in Charleston, SC for about an hour during services before spontaneously opening fire killing eight instantly and the nineth passed at the hospital.
The NAACP expressed its condolences for the families of the victims.
“The NAACP was founded to fight against racial hatred and we are outraged that 106 years later, we are faced today with another mass hate crime,” NAACP president Cornell William Brooks said. “There is no greater coward than a criminal who enters a house of God and slaughters innocent people engaged in the study of scripture.”
This incident which is being considered a hate crime, is deemed the largest mass shooting since the Navy Yard shooting, which took place September 2013 that killed 12.
“The only reason someone would walk into church and shoot people praying is hate,” said Charleston Mayor Joe Riley. “People were coming together praying, and an awful person coming in and shooting was the most awful and inexplicable act possible.”
Out of the 13 people who attended services last night only 4 survived, the gunman and three other church members, two of which were unharmed.
A woman who survived the shooting says the gunman said he was letting her live so that she could tell people what happened, Charleston NAACP President Dot Scott told CNN.
A total of six women and three men were killed.
The gunman is being considered armed and dangerous and is still at large. Local schools have been closed due to the incident.
It has played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s. The late Coretta Scott King led an estimated crowd of 1,500 demonstrators to the church in an April 1969 protest for Civil Rights.
The Church has gone through many obstacles including being burnt down and ravished but AME has always bounced back. Our condolences go out to the Church and the Church’s families affected by this horrific crime. Let’s chat below.
Sources Sited : ABC News
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