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Vigils Set in D.C. to Remember Charleston Victims

Two prayer vigils will be held in Washington, D.C. to remember the nine people killed when a gunman opened fire in their Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina. 

The crime shocked the nation, moving many to gather together in prayer. In the District, two prayer vigils will be held Friday. 

The first will begin at noon at Metropolitan AME Church at 1518 M St NW. The service is open to the public. 

Several hours later, the National Black United Front (NBUF) will host a prayer vigil at the African American Civil War Memorial. The vigil coincides with Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. 

The Juneteenth inter-faith prayer vigil will begin at 7 p.m. The memorial is located near the U Street Metro station. 

Police say the gunman, 21-year-old Dylann Roof was arrested nearly 250 miles away from where  he opened fire on a Wednesday's night Bible study group at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Before Roof's arrest, survivors of the shooting shared chilling details about the attack. According to NBC News, the gunman went to the church and asked for the pastor, the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, and sat among congregants for nearly an hour before the shooting. 


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Pinckney was among those killed.  

The county coroner identified the other victims as:

  • Tywanza Sanders, 26, a 2014 graduate of Allen University in Columbia, which Pinckney also attended.
  • Cynthia Hurd, 54, manager of St. Andrews Regional Library.
  • The Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45, an assistant pastor at the church and girls track coach at Goose Creek High School.
  • Susie Jackson, 87, a longtime church member.
  • Ethel Lance, 70, a sexton at the church.
  • The Rev. Depayne Middleton Doctor, 49, a church singer and former Charleston County community development employee.
  • The Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74, a member of the church's ministerial staff, who died in the operating room at the hospital.
  • Myra Thompson, 59, wife of the vicar of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church.

Roof will appear in court for a bond hearing Friday afternoon. He is facing nine counts of murder. 

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