Charleston suspect's family: 'We are devastated'
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Relatives of an alleged mass shooter expressed sorrow Friday for the attack that claimed nine lives in Charleston, S.C., earlier this week.
Attorney Boyd Young released a statement on behalf of suspect Dylann Storm Roof’s family.
“The Roof family would like to extend their deepest sympathies and condolences to families of the victims in Wednesday night’s shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston,” the statement said.
“Words cannot express our shock, grief and disbelief as to what happened that night,” it went on to say. “We are devastated and saddened by what occurred.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those killed this week.”
Roof, 21, allegedly joined Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church’s congregants Wednesday evening for a Bible study before opening fire.
He received a $1 million bond Friday over a single charge of possessing a weapon while committing a crime.
Relatives of the nine people slain forgave the accused killer in emotional remarks during his bond hearing that afternoon.
Roof’s relatives thanked their community Friday evening for expressing grace towards their family amid the tragedy’s aftermath.
“We have all been touched by the moving words from the victims’ families offering God’s forgiveness and love in the face of such horrible suffering,” the statement said.
“Our hope and prayer is for peace and healing for the families of the victims, the Charleston community, and those touched by these events throughout the state of South Carolina and our nation,” it added.
The Roof family did not mention Dylann Storm Roof by name during their statement on Wednesday’s massacre.
President Obama argued Friday evening that the incident served as a stark reminder that Congress had failed by not reforming the nation’s gun restrictions earlier.
“We might have some more Americans still here with us,” he said.
“You all might have to attend fewer funerals,” he added. “Some families might still be whole.”
- Updated at 6:42 p.m.