Senate

Reid: SC shooter was a ‘sheep in wolf’s clothing’

Francis Rivera

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday condemned the mass shooting at a black church in South Carolina, saying it was carried out by a “a sheep in wolf’s clothing.”

“I don’t know how else to describe it. This individual was like a sheep in wolf’s clothing,” the Democratic leader said from the Senate floor. “The thought of people who are in a house of worship being gunned down as they gathered to pray is heart-wrenching.”

{mosads}A gunman attacked the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston on Wednesday evening, killing nine people. The suspect reportedly attended the service for an hour before opening fire.

Reid said, “Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who were gunned down in that church. It’s hard for me to comprehend anything so awful.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the majority whip, said the shooting “certainly shocks all of our conscious and sensibilities.”

“[It’s] the sort of act that, I think, we all find hard to understand, is truly unspeakable,” he added. “I think it’s appropriate that we all offer our thoughts and perhaps a private prayer for all of those who were affected by this senseless and horrific tragedy.”

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) added, “These things are very hard to understand, very hard to fathom. I think I speak for all of our colleagues when I say our heart goes to the people of South Carolina.”

Senate Chaplain Barry Black asked during the Senate’s opening prayer, “Lord, comfort the families and loved ones of the victims of the Charleston, S.C., church shooting.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), who hails from the state and is running for president, said the shooting has “robbed and shaken” people’s sense of security.

“There are bad people in this world who are motivated by hate. Every decent person has been victimized by the hateful, callous disregard for human life shown by the individual who perpetrated these horrible acts,” Graham said.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), another presidential candidate, called the shooting “a tragic reminder of the ugly stain of racism that still taints our nation.” 

This senseless violence fills me with outrage, disgust and a deep, deep sadness,” he added in a statement. “The hateful killing of nine people praying inside a church is a horrific reminder that, while we have made significant progress in advancing civil rights in this country, we are far from eradicating racism.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said, Americans are “in danger of being numb” to gun violence.

“Mass murder and gun violence have killed children and educators in their Sandy Hook school, moviegoers in Colorado,” he said in a statement. “We are far beyond saying ‘enough is enough’ and in danger of being numb to the scourge of gun violence plaguing our country. Numbness to gun violence is consummate complicity.”

— This report was updated at 11:05 a.m.

Tags Angus King Bernie Sanders Harry Reid John Cornyn Lindsey Graham Richard Blumenthal

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