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Saturday, 20 June 2015
WHATS NOW ? MUNGU WANGU NALIAJE '' HI SAD SAD NEWS IMENIGUSA MNO '' RELATIVES OF THE VICTIMS GUNNED DOWN IN THE SOUTH CAROLINA CHURCH MASSACRE TOLD THE KILLER THAT THEY FORGIVE HIM'' RUWA MANGI ''
Emotionless: Dylann Roof is pictured as he appeared via video link from the North Charleston detention center where he is being held''
In court: The 21-year-old looked straight ahead as he heard his victims' families speak to him about their loss''
Relatives of the victims gunned down in the South Carolina church massacre told the killer that they forgive him in heart-wrenching statements during his first court appearance today.
'I forgive you!' the daughter of Ethel Lance told Dylann Roof through tears as he appeared via video link at the Charleston court on Friday afternoon. 'You took something really precious from me. I will never talk to her ever again, I will never be able to hold her ever again but I forgive you!
'You hurt me, you hurt a lot of people but God forgives you. And I forgive you.'
The 21-year-old man, who is being held in the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center in North Charleston, has been charged with nine counts of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. It emerged on Friday that he shot all of his victims multiple times.
His bond was set at $1 million for the weapons charge but his lawyer accepted no bond arrangements for the other charges.
Dressed in a prison jump suit with his hands cuffed behind his back and looking vacantly ahead, he only spoke to confirm his name, age and to say that he was unemployed. He stood silently as members of the victims' families stepped forward to speak about their loss.
First appearance: He appeared by video link at his bond hearing before Chief Magistrate James Gosnell in Charleston on Friday
'I forgive you, my family forgives you,' Anthony Thompson, a relative of Myra Thompson, told him. 'But... take this opportunity to repent. Repent. Confess. Give your life to the one that matters the most - Christ - so that he can change you and change your ways no matter what happened to you, and you'll be OK. Do that and you'll be better off than you are right now.'
The mother of 26-year-old Tywanza Sanders accused Roof of killing 'some of the beautiful-est people that I know' after they welcomed him to church 'with open arms'.
'Every fiber in my body hurts and it'll never be the same,' she said through tears. 'Tywanza Sanders was my son, but Tywanza was my hero.'
The sister of DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49, added: 'DePayne taught me that we are the family that love built. We have no will for hating... May God bless you.'
Chief Magistrate James Gosnell told Roof that his next court appearance will be in October, followed by another appearance in February next year.
Following his court appearance on Friday, the Roof family released a statement - its first - through his public defender, saying they extended their 'deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims'.
'Words cannot express our shock, grief and disbelief as to what happened that night,' it continued. 'Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those killed this week.'
Storm, who is white, had previously confessed to murdering the nine black churchgoers at their weekly bible study meeting, telling investigators that he wanted to 'start a race war'. He was unrepentant as he told cops he wanted everyone to know what he had done, officials told the Washington Post.
He also revealed that he 'almost didn't go through with it because everyone was so nice to him', sources told NBC News, but he ultimately decided that he had to 'go through with his mission'.
After shooting dead the victims he 'uttered a racially inflammatory statement' to a survivor, according to the affidavit.
Giving them a voice: Relatives of Tywanza Sanders, pictured and Ethel Lance, gave tearful statements in court on Friday''
Heartbroken: Nadine Collier (center) speaks about her mother, church shooting victim Ethel Lance, after the bond hearing at the Charleston County Detention Center on Friday. During the hearing, she told Roof that she forgives him for killing her mother''
His roommate has also said that Roof had been planning the attack for six months, and had wanted to start a 'civil war' before killing himself. Another friend said Roof complained that black people are 'taking over the world' and said someone to do something about it for the sake of 'the white race'.
On Thursday, following an overnight manhunt, Roof was arrested in Shelby, North Carolina after a tip from a member of the public and he was extradited back to South Carolina last night.
He was seen in a jumpsuit, chains, handcuffs and a bullet-proof vest as he was chaperoned by dozens of armed police officers on to an airplane at Shelby-Cleveland County Regional Airport bound for his home state.
He is now on suicide watch in jail, as per protocol, Charleston County Sheriff's office spokesman Major Eric Watson told ABC News.
He is being housed separately from the rest of the inmates for his own safety and is in a cell next to Michael Slager, the white cop accused of gunning down unarmed black man Walter Scott, according to Live5.
On Friday, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley told the Today show that 'we will absolutely will want him to have the death penalty'. His uncle added to ABC News that, if he does get the death penalty, he 'will push the button myself'.
'I'll be the one to push the button. If he's found guilty, I'll be the one to push the button myself,' Carson Cowles said. 'If what I am hearing is true, he needs to pay for it.'
Baby-faced 'killer': Dylann Storm Roof held court papers in his cuffed hands as he was led to a plane after his arrest on Thursday''
Led away: Roof was arrested in Shelby, North Carolina on Thursday morning and was extradited back to his home state later that day''
Stopped: Police can be seen around Roof's car in Shelby, North Carolina after he was found following a tip from a member of the public''
Among the dead was Reverend and State Senator Pinckney. On Thursday, photos showed a black cloth placed over Pinckney's seat in the South Carolina Senate.
The eight other victims, aged between 26 and 87, were named by the coroner on Thursday. They were identified as Tywanza Sanders, 26, Sharonda Singleton, 45, DePayne Middleton, 49, Cynthia Hurd, 54, Myra Thompson, 59, Ethel Lee Lance, 70, Daniel Simmons, 76, and Susie Jackson, 87.
Police said that three survivors were also found inside the church.
'The tragedy that we're addressing right now is indescribable,' Police Chief Gregory Mullen said on Thursday. 'No one in this community will ever forget this night. We are committed to do whatever is necessary to bring this individual to justice. We are not leaving any stone unturned.'
Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr added: 'This is an unfathomable and unspeakable act by somebody filled with hate and with a deranged mind. We're going to put our arms around this church... We're going to find this horrible scoundrel.'
And speaking from the White House on Thursday afternoon, President Obama called the murders 'senseless'.
'Any death of this sort is a tragedy, any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy,' he said. 'There is something particularly heartbreaking about death happening somewhere we seek solace and we seek peace... The fact that this took place in a black church also raises questions about a dark part of our history.'
Condolences: President Obama, beside Vice President Joe Biden, called the murders 'senseless' from the White House''
Silence: Senator Cory Booker, Rep. John Lewis and Senator Joe Manchin pray with other members of the US Congress during a prayer circle in front of the US Capitol to honor those gunned down last night inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church
Honored: On Friday, a boy leaves flowers at the memorial where bows bearing the names of the victims hang on a fence
Victims: Flowers and notes of hope and support from the community line the sidewalk outside the church on Friday''
MUNGU AWAPOKEENI SALAMA #RIP HAPPY PEOPLE
TUMECHOTA NA KUMIMINA KUTOKA DM 'ILI MJIONEE'' YA DUNIA''