Youngest, oldest church shooting victims laid to rest

Published: Jun. 27, 2015 at 5:49 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 27, 2015 at 10:26 PM EDT
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A funeral service Saturday afternoon laid to rest the youngest and oldest victims of the June 17 Charleston church shooting.

A joint service for Tywanza Sanders and Susie Jackson, Sanders' great aunt, was held 2 p.m. at Mother Emanuel AME Church, where both died in the shooting following a Bible study.

Sanders, 26, graduated from Allen University in May. Jackson, 87, was a Burke High School graduate who sang in the Emanuel AME Church choir.

The two arrived by horse-drawn carriage followed by their families.

Mourners were forced to walk through a partially-flooded street outside the church from afternoon rain, causing the service to begin later than planned.

Jackson was a long-time member of Mother Emanuel Church. Family members say she always went out of her way to help others.

Sanders received his degree in business administration from Allen University last May. Friends say he was just getting ready to open a new barbershop with friends. One thing they both shared, their friends and family say, was their love of the Lord.

Those who knew Jackson and Tywanza say they are holding on to their memories and say they'll never forget them.

"Tywanza was always a bubbly and happy person. His aunt, she would do anything for anybody at anytime," mourner Quarde Pettigrew said.

"My favorite relationship with my Aunt Susie was when we would go to our family reunion, she would tell me come here, she would give me candy and I would kiss her," Cynay Taylor said.

Many people who never knew them attended the service to honor their lives and show their support. When the Church reached capacity, people waiting in line were directed to a nearby church where they could watch the service streaming.

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