— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) June 19, 2015
At the start of today’s hearing for Dylann Roof — the 21-year-old man who shot and killed nine people during a bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston — the judge told him that “Charleston is a loving community.”
Those words were echoed in the messages of victims’ families, who addressed Roof via video chat. These are some of the powerful statements they made:
“You took someone very important from me…but I forgive you. Have mercy on your soul.”
“Every fiber in my body hurts, and I’ll never be the same. Tyrone Sanders was my son, Tyrone was my hero. But as we say in bible study, may God have mercy on you.
“Hate won’t win.”
“We are the family that love built. We have no room for hate. So we have to forgive.
Roof’s bail was set at $1 million. He was charged with nine counts of murder. Watch the full hearing here.