CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley teared up alongside Charleston city leaders, as she spoke about the horrific murder that left nine people dead.
"We woke up today and the heart and soul of South Carolina was broken," she said.
On this day it didn't matter if you were a Republican or a Democrat. Leaders from both sides came together for solace, unity, and prayer.
"The arrest of this awful man is part of our - for all of us in this community and in our country - to begin the the necessary process of our healing, together," Mayor Joe Riley said.
Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen and his team have been working non-stop, through the night, to catch the man they believe took the lives of nine innocent people at Mother Emanuel Church.
"It's a very tragic situation," he said. "A horrific situation. One that has touched the heart and soul of every person who lives in this community."
Leaders say the lives lost in this church will have a ripple effect across the country.
"Parents are having to explain to their kids how they can go to church and feel safe." Haley said "And that's not something we never think we would have to deal with."
With heavy hearts, community leaders are working together to ensure Charleston, and the country, will see a better day.
"Mother Emanuel Church and its congregation has risen before in flames, from earthquake, and other dark times to give hope to generations of Charlestonians," President Obama said. "With our prayers and our love and the buoyancy of hope, it will rise again, now, as a place of peace."