Grieving relatives of the nine worshipers gunned down at a Bible study in the basement of a South Carolina church Wednesday painfully forgave the confessed gunman, Dylann Roof, and urged him to "repent" during his bond hearing Friday. Judge James Gosnell set his bond at $1 million and he remained in custody late Friday afternoon.
The tearful family members of the victims who died in the massacre at Charleston's historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, expressed their pain and heartache between sobs while speaking at 21-year-old Roof's bond hearing. The cuffed Lexington resident, who was dressed in a prison jump suit, appeared at the hearing via video link and looked calm and expressionless as he listened.
"I forgive you," the emotional daughter of Ethel Lance, 70, one of the victims, told Roof. "You took something really precious from me. I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her ever again, but I forgive you!" more >>
Michelle Obama and her daughters Sasha and Malia paid their respects to the nine victims of the church massacre in Charleston, North Carolina by lighting candles at the Duomo Cathedral in Milan, Italy on Thursday.
Although the first lady made no comment nor issued a statement, an official at Duomo said Obama and her daughters lit candles in memory of the victims along their unannounced stop at the Gothic-inspired church, according to the Associated Press. The trio were also joined by Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, the official said.
On Wednesday night, suspected shooter Dylann Roof opened fire during a prayer meeting at Charleston's historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, killing nine people and injuring three. The 21-year-old South Carolina native has been taken into custody where he admitted to the crime on Friday, and his gun charge alone was set on a $1 million bond, while the nine counts of murder are ineligible for bond. Roof's next court date is set for Oct. 23. more >>
Donations are reportedly pouring in to help families of the victims of the deadly Charleston church massacre cover funeral costs, and aerospace company Boeing is among the big donors with a pledge to give as much as $100,000.
On Wednesday, nine worshippers at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, were killed after 21-year-old Dylann Roof opened fire during a Bible study. Police have called the fatal shooting a hate crime and Roof, who was captured Thursday by law enforcement in Shelby, North Carolina, is expected to answer to charges at a bond hearing on Friday.
Charleston's Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. set up the "Mother Emanuel Hope" fund through Wells Fargo bank in the wake of the tragic shooting and various donors have already pledged thousands of dollars to help pay for funerals, counseling and other needs for the victims' families. more >>
Lead pastor of Elevation Church in North Carolina, Steven Furtick called on churches across America to "be the light we are so desperate to see" after confessed gunman Dylann Roof, 21, executed nine worshipers at a Bible study inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Wednesday night.
Charleston County coroner Rae Wooten identified the six women and three men massacred by Roof who said he wanted to start a race war Thursday. Roof's victims were identified as: Clementa Pinckney, 41, the senior pastor at the church; Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45, an assistant pastor; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Ethel Lance, 70; Susie Jackson, 87; Cynthia Hurd, 54; Myra Thompson, 59; Daniel Simmons Sr., 74; and DePayne Middleton Doctor, 49.
In a Facebook post Thursday titled "Looking for the Light," Furtick cited John 1:5: "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it," and encouraged the church to remain hopeful despite his own difficulty in coming to terms with the murders inside the church. more >>
The Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes at Tabgha, located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus is believed to have fed the 5,000, has been burned in an arson attack that occurred Wednesday night. Anti-Christian graffiti was marked at the site, with the words "May the false gods be eliminated" written in Hebrew reportedly found at the entrance.
Breaking Israel News said that two people suffered minor smoke inhalation while trying to control the fire, with firefighters called to the scene shortly after 4 a.m. local time on Thursday. Aided by volunteers, they managed successfully to put out the fire, which was started on the rooftop.
While the sanctuary of the church did not suffer much damage, the arson attack affected more heavily a number of offices, a storage room of books and an event hall. Wadia Abu Nasser, the Catholic Church's media adviser in Israel, estimated that the cost of repairs will be in the "millions," but said that "the emotional damage is worse." more >>
In the wake 21-year-old Dylan Roof being identified as the gunman who killed nine worshipers at a historic black church in South Carolina Wednesday night, a 30-year-old gospel musician posted a message on Roof's since-deleted Facebook page encouraging him to seek salvation in Jesus Christ.
After Roof was identified as the target of a massive police manhunt, Marcus Stanley, a gospel artist who's originally from Norfolk, Virginia, quickly found Roof's Facebook page before it was taken down for security reasons.
IJReview reported that Stanley commented on Roof's profile photo and explained that although Roof committed such a heinous crime, he doesn't view him through a lens of hatred but rather through a lens of love. more >>