Coroner identifies nine victims in Emanuel AME Church shooting
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The identities of the nine victims in the shooting that took place at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston on Wednesday night were confirmed by the Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten Thursday afternoon.
The victims are:
- Cynthia Hurd, 54 years old
- Susie Jackson, 87 years old
- Ethel Lance, 70 years old
- Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49 years old
- The Honorable Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41 years old
- Tywanza Sanders, 26 years old
- Rev. Daniel Simmons, 74 years old, died at MUSC
- Rev. Sharonda Singleton, 45 years old
- Myra Thompson, 59 years old
"We all join in the sadness reflected in the community and these families," Wooten said on Thursday."As you can imagine [the families] are very much in shock and are in deep grief over these losses."
Wooten did not release too much information on the details of the deaths, and said that the process would be a lengthy one. "Based on our immediate observation and the report of what happened, it is obvious these individuals suffered gunshot wounds and as a result these individuals died."
Wooten said she's spent a time with the families and admired their strength in these trying times.
"I have to tell you they are the most gracious group of grieving individuals I've had, I hat to say, the pleasure to serve," Wooten said."But it's a pleasure to deal with such strong, wonderful people in the face of such a tragedy."
Before the official announcement by the coroner's office, many organizations who had ties to the victims released information on six of the victims and sent their condolences.
Elder James Johnson, President of the Charleston Chapter of the National Action News, said SC Senator Clementa C. Pinckney was among those killed inside the church. Pinckney, 41, served as pastor for Emanuel AME in addition to his role as a state senator for District 45.
SC House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister issued a statement on the death of Senator Clementa Pinckney which reads, in part:
"Senator Clementa Pinckney will be remembered as a brave man, loving father and husband, pastor dedicated to his flock and caring senator who represented his community with distinction. Many of us who share the honor of representing South Carolina in the Legislature consider his untimely death a very personal loss. Clementa was a young energetic leader, but as a legislative page, state representative and senator, he was an old member of our family. For over 20 years with his strong voice and gentle way, he was the embodiment of civility and kindness in Columbia, even in the midst of heated debate and dispute. In the days to come he will be mourned and praised but among his brothers and sisters at the Statehouse, he will be truly missed."
Officials with the Charleston County Public Library announced that the library manager at their facility was also killed in the shooting. CCPL identified her as Cynthia Hurd and released the following statement:
"Cynthia worked with Charleston County Public Library 31 years, serving as branch manager of the John L. Dart Branch from 1990-2011 before becoming manager of the St. Andrews Regional Library. Her loss is incomprehensible, and we ask for prayers for her family, her co-workers, her church and this entire community as we come together to face this tragic loss.
“To honor our co-worker and all those lost, Charleston County Public Library's 16 locations are closed today, Thursday, June 18, 2015.”
Tywanza Sanders has been reported as the third victim. Sanders reportedly worked at Smitty's Super Seven Barber in Charleston.
"I've been up all night,"
Tywanza Sanders, was killed in the deadly rampage. "My brother called me and it was shock, disbelief. I was like ‘you're lying. This cannot happen to us, cannot happen to his family'. I'm at a loss for words to even explain how I feel."
The fourth reported victim, Sharonda Singleton, was the head coach of the girls' track and field and a speech/ language pathologist at Goose Creek High School.
The Berkeley County School District released a statement on Singleton's death, which reads in part:
"Sharonda Singleton, a speech/language pathologist and the head girls' track coach at Goose Creek High School, who touched the lives of students and colleagues alike, leaves a void that is impossible to fill.
"Reflecting on Mrs. Singleton, Principal Huskey said, “Mrs. Singleton was a true professional at Goose Creek High School. She cared about her students and was an advocate for them, always willing to listen to and talk with them. She was always there with a smile and ready to help. Mrs. Singleton will be deeply missed by the ‘Gator Nation' and we can never replace her as a member of our team."
According to St. James AME in Cleveland, Ohio, Susie Jackson was one of the nine victims shot to death in at the Emanuel AME Church Wednesday night. Jackson's son is a member of the church in Cleveland.
Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor
Southern Weleyan University sent a press release regarding the death of DePayne Doctor stating:
As the world mourns for the nine victims in the wake of the June 17 shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, Southern Wesleyan University is mourning the loss of an employee and alumna. DePayne Doctor, admissions coordinator at Southern Wesleyan University's Charleston learning center, was in historic Emmanuel AME Church and was among the shooting victims.
President Todd Voss was shocked to hear this news.
“Always a warm and enthusiastic leader, DePayne truly believed in the mission of SWU to help students achieve their potential by connecting faith with learning,” Voss said “Our prayers go out to family and friends. This is a great loss for our students and the Charleston region.”
Doctor began work this past December at SWU's Charleston learning center. She received her BA in biology and life sciences from Columbia College and was a SWU alumna, having received her master's in management from SWU in 1994. She is an experienced grant writer, having worked with local school districts as a consultant. She also worked for local and state agencies in various roles and as data manager/analyst for the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).
According to police, officers arrived to find eight people dead inside the church. A ninth victim, Rev. Simmons, died later at a nearby hospital. Three people survived the attack, Mullen said.
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