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Church Massacre: 'We've Got Some Grieving to Do'

06-19-2015
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The suspect in Wednesday night's church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, is in custody Friday, but grieving over the attack has only just begun.

 "We have some grieving to do and we've got some pain we have to go through," South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said. "Parents are having to explain to their kids how they can go to church and feel safe, and that's not something we ever thought we had to deal with."

Police captured the 21-year-old suspect, Dylann Roff, just outside Charlotte, North Carolina, 12 hours after he opened fire in Emanuel AME, an historic African-American church built more than a century ago.

"We will get through it; our church will get through it," Chris Singleton, whose father was killed, said. "It's tough, but I know that everybody will press on."

Families Forgive: Listen as relatives of the Charleston shooting victims forgive the suspect at his first court hearing. Others call on him to repent and confess his sins and find forgiveness from God.

Pastor Clementa Pinkney, a beloved shepherd as well as state senator, was among the victim's of Wednesday's shooting spree.

Survivors say he died doing what he loved best -- spreading the Word of God.

Federal law enforcement officers are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime. Survivors and even the suspect's friends say he often spewed hatred.

"He said he thought the black, in general as a race, was bringing down the white race," Joey Meek, a friend of the suspect, said.  

While it appears Roff gunned down the unarmed victims in hatred, there's been an outpouring of love and unity in the wake of the tragedy.

"Of course I'm angry that he would do this, but the Bible I use teaches us to love," Pastor Andre Spivey, a Detroit City councilman, said.

The shooting spurred discussions countrywide on the issue of church safety.

Pastor Chris Mitchell, who heads CBN's security forces, admits that churches are vulnerable to violence, but says they must not lose sight of their mission.

"Nationally, across the world, there's an increase in violence toward Christians. That would incite others that don't particularly care for the Christian faith to do those same types of attacks against us," he said. "It's important for us to always remain vigilant, but always act with love."

Reports nationwide indicate churches will continue gathering today for prayer vigils and memorials to honor the victims of Wednesday's shooting.

Meanwhile, investigators are working to confirm the motive.

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