House pays moving tribute to Charleston victims

An emotional scene unfolded on the House floor Tuesday evening as lawmakers paused proceedings to pay tribute to the victims of last week's mass shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C.

Members of the South Carolina congressional delegation, including Republican Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump backs another T stimulus, urges governors to reopen schools Democrats awash with cash in battle for Senate MORE and Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump takes on CDC over schools Finger-pointing, gridlock spark frustration in Senate Tim Scott says he's talking with House Democrats about reviving police reform bill MORE, along with the Congressional Black Caucus, led the rest of the House in a moment of silence.

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) recalled the events of last Wednesday, when a white man shot nine people at a Bible study hosted by Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. The suspect, Dylann Roof, has reportedly admitted to the crime as racially motivated.


“As we all know, a young man with incomprehensible malice came into the Mother Emanuel AME Church on Calhoun Street in Charleston, South Carolina, and did the unthinkable, as he joined the Bible study and he gunned down nine of the members, the parishioners there in the church," Sanford said.

"But fortunately our story doesn’t end there. Because the family members of the victims also did the unthinkable. I say that because they’re at the bond hearing, they did the unimaginable, the incomprehensible in showing human grace,” he said.

Sanford then read aloud the names of the nine victims: Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the church’s pastor; Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr.; Cynthia Hurd; Sharonda Singleton; Myra Thompson; Tywanza Sanders; Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor; Susie Jackson; and Ethel Lance.

Lawmakers grasped each other’s hands and shoulders during the moment of silence.

House GOP leaders decided earlier Tuesday to shorten the work week so members could attend funeral services Friday. Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLott says lobbying firm cut ties to prevent him from taking clients Lobbying firm cuts ties to Trent Lott amid national anti-racism protests Bush, Romney won't support Trump reelection: NYT MORE (R-Ohio) is leading a bipartisan congressional delegation, while President Obama will deliver Pinckney's eulogy.