CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Families of the victims of the Charleston church shooting spoke to reporters Wednesday afternoon, shortly after the man accused in the killings was formally sentenced to death.
The widow of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Jennifer Pinckney, spoke outside the federal courthouse and thanked all the support she received.
"We have all received a lot of love and support," Jennifer Pinckney said."We're grateful and thankful for everyone out there. It's just been overwhelming from day one. And so we just want to say thank you to everyone. "
"We have a greater sense of relief as we are nearing the end of the judicial process," said Alanna Simmons, granddaughter of Daniel Simmons.
"What I need Mr. Roof to know was that he may have removed her in the physical but spiritually she's there hand-in-hand with me," said Arthur Steven Hurd, Cynthia Hurd's husband, who spoke during the impact statements in court earlier on Wednesday.
Hurd said the best possible outcome was for Roof to get life in parole and be in "general population."
"I won't romance him with God and I won't romance him with forgiveness," said Tyrone Sanders, father of Tywanza Sanders."I don't think that will ever happen I don't think I'll allow my God to allow me to forgive. Even if it makes me sick I don't think I can do it."
Dylann Roof, 22, was sentenced to death for the June 17, 2015, shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in a federal court.
More than 30 people gave impact statements at the formal sentencing hearing Wednesday, a day after a jury returned a death penalty decision.
Roof was found guilty in the deaths of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41; Cynthia Hurd, 54; Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Ethel Lance, 70; Susie Jackson, 87; Depayne Middleton Doctor, 49; Rev. Daniel Simmons, 74; and Myra Thompson, 59.