Friends remember the nine victims from Wednesday night shooting


CHARLESTON, SC - Marvin Stewart is grieving.

He is one of many church members at Mother Emanuel AME Church who are in total disbelief.

Stewart knows many of the people whose lives were taken when a man opened fire inside of the historic Charleston church Wednesday night.

"I was in shock when I heard the news," Stewart said over the phone.

Stewart has been an active member at Emanuel AME for many years. It's where he worshiped beside Cynthia Hurd, who was also one of his coworkers.

Hurd worked as a librarian for thirty years.

"She was a very outgoing person. She was kind to everyone," Stewart recalled. "She was a tireless public servant... Faith was very important to her"

In 2011, Hurd became the manager of St. Andrews Regional Library, where she touch thousands of lives with her work.

Hurd helped people of all ages learn how to read.

"She did a lot of work behind the scenes that she never got credit for," Stewart said.

When people in her community were looking for a job, Hurd was there to help them search the library databases to find work.

She also helped people learn computer skills to land those jobs, according to one coworker of hers.

"Cynthia was very personable," Jaime Thomas said. "She would help people prepare for tests… she was very devoted to her job."

On Thursday, the city said the library Hurd worked at will now be named after her.

Hurd was 54-years-old when she died from a bullet wound Wednesday night alongside of Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., who was also killed.

Stewart said Simmons retired as a reverend, but even though he was retired, it didn't stop him from helping others in his congregation get through tough times.

"It goes to show how much he loved his job," Stewart said. "He was a very hard worker."

Seventy-year-old Ethel Lance was also a victim from Wednesday's massacre.

"She was a first class person," Stewart said.

Lance worked as a custodial worker with Mother Emanuel AME church for decades. She was also a church member there.

"She gave back to our church," Stewart said. "Ethel was my favorite person."

Lance was a mother, grandmother, and mentor to many, according to Stewart.

Hurd, Simmons, and Lance were among nine people that were killed Wednesday night.

The other six victims include: Susie Jackson, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinkney, Tywanza Sander, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, and Myra Thompson.