CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. held a brief news conference Friday morning outside of the historic downtown Charleston church where nine people were shot and killed Wednesday night.
The news conference was held at 11 a.m. on Calhoun Street near Emanuel AME Church, located at 110 Calhoun Street.
Riley referred to the shooter, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, as a "crazy person who thought he would come here and tear us apart," but has instead "united us." He pointed out that Rood didn't live in Charleston, and his actions are "irrational" and "not in any way representative of this community."
The mayor also addressed the prayer vigil that will take place tonight at TD Arena on Meeting Street at 6 p.m. He stated the venue was chosen because of its proximity to the church. He also expressed his hopes that this will be an opportunity for the family to come together for support and encouragement.
According to Mayor Riley, the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund will help the victims' families to handle their expenses. Donations can be made by going into any Wells Fargo bank in Charleston, and he stated that an online portal will be available soon. Donations can also be mailed to the following address:
An additional fund will eventually be set up to help fund projects planned by Senator Clementa Pinckney.
When asked about Governor Haley's comments regarding the death penalty for the shooter, Riley stated that he is not personally in favor of the death penalty, but "this case would merit it."