Dylann Roof, 21, was captured by law enforcement in Shelby, North Carolina today.
Police say, on Wednesday night Roof opened fire during a Bible study session at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people. This tragic event has sparked outrage in local leaders as well as the nation, as it seems once again history has repeated itself.
The names of some of the victims in this massacre have been released: Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, mother of three, reverend, and high school track coach; Rev. Clementa Pickney, state senator in South Carolina; Cynthia Hurd, a librarian, Tywanza Sanders, a recent graduate of Allen University in Columbia; Myra Thompson, a Vicar at Holy Trinity REC; Ethel Lee Lance, a sexton at the church; Daniel L. Simmons, a ministerial staff member at the church.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those slain unjustly and viciously in Charleston SC. The church, and African-Americans, are indeed under attack. Yet, I remain hopeful for both are strong and resilient, and both as a whole will be preserved until the day our Lord Jesus Christ returns,” said Dr. Preston T. Adams, III, Senior Pastor at Amazing Grace Christian Church.
“I, along with the rest of the Indianapolis community, would like to express my profound sadness for the horrific loss being felt by the Emmanuel AME Church of Charleston South Carolina and all those affected this tragedy. As the search for answers continues I would like to remind us of a sentiment found in scripture. The Apostle Paul explained in the last few verses of 1 Corinthians 13 our difficulty in seeing clearly right now. He relates our current ability to see to a person looking in a dark mirror. However, he suggests a time will come when we will be given the ability to see clearly. Until then, Paul says we are left with only Faith, hope, and love. Paul declares the greatest of these is love. My prayer is that faith, hope and love would prevail until we are able to see/understand this tragedy. May God grant us Faith in Him, Hope in his return, and the Love that is the only solution for hate,” said Timeko Whitaker, Certified Christian Life Coach, CEO of Authentic Identity Coaching.
“My mind can’t help but to note the eerie resemblance to four other prayer warriors who loss their lives at the hands of similar evil designed and intended to put fear in the hearts of the African American community. On September 15, 1963 Ku Klux Klan members decided they would attempt to intimidate the Black community by bombing the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. In the 1990s America saw a wave of violence aimed at the spiritual backbone of African-Americans through church bombings. So, this type of terrorism isn’t new,” said John E. Girton, Jr., Senior Pastor of Christ Missionary Baptist Church.
The Muslim community is greatly saddened by the senseless killings of all people, particularly those observing their faith. The Holy Quran is explicitly clear on respecting all houses of worship and protecting its members. Chapter 22: verse 40 reads “…Did not Allah (God) check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah (God) is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah (God) will certainly aid those who aid his (cause);- for verily Allah (God) is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will).” The Muslims of America stand solidly with the members of Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C. We pray that justice is served and that our country moves closer to freedom, justice and equality for all Americans. I close with chapter 2: verse 114 of the Holy Qur’an. “And who is more unjust than he who forbids that in places for the worship of Allah (God), Allah’s (God’s) name should be celebrated?-whose zeal is (in fact) to ruin them? It was not fitting that such should themselves enter them except in fear…,” said Imam Mikal Saahir, of the Nur-Allah Islamic Center.
President Barack Obama made a statement today addressing this tragic situation, giving his condolences. “I’ve had to make statements like this too many times,” stated Obama Thursday.