The family of Dylann Roof, the alleged shooter behind the recent massacre at Emanuel AME Church, has come forward to offer their shared grief and respect to the lives lost in the attack. In the statement, they claimed they were aware of the questions surrounding the incident and promised to answer them as best they could. However, they emphasized their desire to reflect on the victims in the shooting and to give their families space to heal. The statement read:
“We feel it would be inappropriate to say anything at this time other than that we are truly sorry for their loss.”
This is the second time the family has released a statement through their lawyer, Boyd Young, expressing their sorrow over the shooting. Their words fall in the midst of the victims’ various funeral ceremonies; today, Ethel Lance, an elderly churchgoer that served as a custodian for Mother Emanuel during the past 30 years was laid to rest. She is survived by five children, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Her relatives are pictured above.
Her grandson, Jonquil Lance, stated “She would be strong in times of need, so we all need to be strong,” at the funeral today in an interview with Charleston’s local paper, The Post and Courier.
Fort Sumter, the historic battle site, and even Apple have responded to the tragedy by pulling their Confederate flag and Civil War merchandise. Following Walmart and Sears’ footsteps, Fort Sumter’s gift shop and the famous tech retailer are pulling flags as well as Civil War themed-games that feature the flag to remove any items that maybe offensive to those affected by the shooting. Apple CEO Tim Cook made a statement saying that to honor the victims and fight White supremacy, his company was “eradicating racism and removing the symbols and words that feed it.”
Now the Justice Department is expected to hand Roof hate crime charges for the shooting after he confessed while in police custody. Roof is already facing nine counts of murder charges and may be looking at a death sentence.