Latest on Church Shooting: Parishioners See Site of Shooting

Emanuel AME Church stands in the background as a mourner visits a sidewalk memorial in memory of the shooting victims Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Allen Sanders, right, kneels next to his wife Georgette, both of McClellanville, S.C., as they pray at a sidewalk memorial in memory of the shooting victims in front of Emanuel AME Church Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. "You can't have love and hate residing in the heart at the same time," said Georgette. "We're just going to have to love one another," her husband added. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Allen Sanders, right, kneels next to his wife Georgette, both of McClellanville, S.C., as they pray at a sidewalk memorial in memory of the shooting victims in front of Emanuel AME Church Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. “You can’t have love and hate residing in the heart at the same time,” said Georgette. “We’re just going to have to love one another,” her husband added. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

 

3 p.m.

A group of congregation members met Saturday in the church room where days earlier nine people were killed when a man who had joined their Bible study allegedly opened fire.

Harold Washington says it was an emotional meeting.

Of the room where fellow parishioners were killed, Washington said: “They did a good job cleaning it up. There were a few bullet holes around, but … they cut them out so you don’t see the actual holes.”

Washington says he expects a packed, emotional service Sunday when the church reopens.

He said: “I think it’s gonna be a touching moment — a lot of crying, hugging.”

He also expects newcomers. He said: “We’re gonna have people come by that we’ve never seen before and will probably never see again, and that’s OK.

“It’s a church of the Lord – you don’t turn nobody down.”

___

2:55 p.m.

A federal law enforcement official says the FBI is looking into a website that appears to have photos of the Charleston church shooting suspect holding a Confederate flag along with a racist rant.

The purported manifesto was found on a website called LastRhodesian.com and surfaced Saturday. It’s unclear whether it was written by Dylann Roof, the man arrested in the killing of nine people inside the church Wednesday night. The writings are in line with what Roof has told friends and what he said before allegedly opening fire in the historic black church Wednesday night.

A federal law enforcement official close to the investigation said the FBI is aware of the website and is reviewing it. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the case.

— Associated Press writer Meg Kinnard in Asheville, North Carolina

___

1:50 p.m.

People are crowding the sidewalk, wiping sweat from their brows and tears from their eyes, as they listen to pastors from across the country speak outside “Mother” Emmanuel AME Church.

Two pastors from Oregon and New York asked the crowd to join hands and pray. The men stood together on a long step stool and spoke about how their common religion is more important than their race.

The Rev. Kyle Kneen, who is white, is a retired pastor from Florence, Oregon. Pastor Dimas Salaberrios, who is black, came to Charleston from Astoria, New York.

“I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I’m an African-American second,” Salaberrios said. “God did not welcome me into the church just to hang out with black people.”

The church was the site of a shooting rampage on Wednesday night, leaving nine people dead.

___

1:40 p.m.

Congregation members say the historic black church where nine people were killed is going to re-open for Sunday morning service.

Cassie Watson said Saturday that the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church will open at 8:30 a.m. for Sunday school and 9 a.m. for a service.

Watson was one of more than a dozen people to enter the building after a cleaning crew had worked on it. Other congregation members also confirmed the church would open Sunday.

Authorities say 21-year-old Dylann Roof fatally shot nine people at the church on Wednesday night.

___

1:10 p.m.

About six to 10 people trickled into the historic black church that was the scene of a deadly shooting rampage earlier this week.

Presumably congregation members, they came to Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Saturday through a parking lot that’s still closed to the public. Some of them then embraced before entering the church through a side door on the street, where cleaning crews had been working earlier in the day.

Authorities say 21-year-old Dylann Roof also entered the church through a side door on the street level on Wednesday night and stayed at a Bible study for about an hour before opening fire, killing nine people.

___

1 p.m.

Mitt Romney says it’s time to take down the Confederate flag that’s flying near the South Carolina Capitol.

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee tweets that the flag “is a symbol of racial hatred” to many people. His view: “Remove it now to honor” the nine victims of the church shooting in Charleston.

President Barack Obama has said he thinks the flag belongs in a museum.

South Carolina was the last state to fly the Confederate battle flag from its Capitol dome. In 2000, it was moved to a 30-foot flagpole in front of the Statehouse.

___

12:40 p.m.

Photographs that appear to show the Charleston church shooting suspect holding a Confederate flag and burning an American flag appear with a racist rant on a newly uncovered website.

The purported manifesto was found on a website called LastRhodesian.com and surfaced Saturday. It’s unclear if he wrote it but the writings are in line with what Roof has told friends and what he said before allegedly opening fire in the black church Wednesday night.

Internet registry records show that the website was registered on Feb. 9 via a Russian registry service — a common tactic use by those to obscure personal details or hide who is behind any particular website.

The 60 pictures include Roof holding a Confederate flag and a close-up of a .45-calibar pistol. He is accused of using a similar handgun in the church shooting.

The nearly 2,500-word essay starts the author saying they were not raised in a racist home, but concluded they needed to become violent after typing “black on White crime” into Google. The author says they chose Charleston because at one time it had the highest ratio of blacks to whites and white supremacist groups were not doing enough.

Charleston Police didn’t immediately respond to a message.

___

10:15 p.m.

The memorial in front of the black church is growing with bouquets of flowers, balloons and teddy bears.

On Saturday morning, a couple dozen people stood in front of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where police say a young white man opened fire at the end of a Bible study group and killed nine people on Wednesday night.

Roses are intertwined in the black wrought-iron fence in front of the church and colorful bouquets of flowers are piled on top of each other.

Authorities say 21-year-old Dylann Roof opened fire inside the church. He has been arrested and charged with nine counts of murder. He is currently being held in jail on a $1 million bond.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

###

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.