The Community of Charleston, South Carolina, along with the rest of America, is mourning today after a hate crime took the lives of nine innocent individuals. According to the Charleston Police Department, a man in his early 20s, Dylan Roof, seen on security cameras, is suspected of carrying out the brutal domestic terrorist attack at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Wednesday, June 17. He is still at large.
A police spokesperson told CNN that the victims "were killed because they were black."
Dylan Roof is said to have spent an hour at the historic African-American church before he opened fire. Nine people were killed — six females and three males. Three people survived, including a woman who received a grievous message from the shooter.
"Her life was spared, and (she was) told, I'm not going to kill you, I'm going to spare you, so you can tell them what happened," Charleston NAACP President Dot Scott told CNN.
The hate crime is being felt around the country, and several entertainers from the R&B world shared their sadness with fans:
Michelle Williams: "I ask that you all join me in praying for the people of Charleston, South Carolina and those affected by the horrific scene at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church."
Tiffany Evans: "What type of world do we live in?" … "Pray"
Kelly Rowland: "#PrayersForCharleston "
Solange Knowles: "Was already weary. Was already heavy hearted. Was already tired. Where can we be safe? Where can we be free? Where can we be black?" … "My heart is truly with you to the folks who lost loved ones Charleston. My heart is truly with you, world."
Claude Kelly: "deeply disturbed by news in #Charlseton, SC. A place of worship (church or other, regardless of its religious affiliation) is a safe haven for people to find peace. For most, I believe that this is universal law. Toying w/ faith? Sickening. To horrify and rattle that foundation is the MOST heinous act. •••••••••••• May those who died Rest in Peace.
May that church community find & hold on to hope DESPITE this hatred. Empathy is key in life."
Keri Hilson: "This is racially motivated domestic TERRORISM. Praying for Charleston w/ tears of disgust in my eyes. I AM DISGUSTED."
More quotes will be added as they come in.
Our sincere PRAYERS go out to the people of Charleston, South Carolina.