By Post Staff and news reports
President Barack Obama responded Thursday to killings at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
“Any death of this sort is a tragedy, any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy,” he said. “There is something particularly heartbreaking about death happening at a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace.”
“I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities have had to endure tragedies like this too many times,” he continued. “Once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun…We as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”
One of those killed was State Senator and pastor of the AME Church Clementa Pinckney.
Oakland Pastor Harold Mayberry of the First AME Church knew Rev. Pinckney well.
“In 2015, this kind of senseless tragedy speaks to the level of violence and racism that still exists in America. I’m calling on the entire Bay Area community to join us in prayer for Mother Emanuel Church, for the family in the passing of the pastor Rev. Pinckney and for the entire AME family,” said Pastor Mayberry.
A prayer service was held Thursday night at FAME Church in Oakland.
Authorities apprehended suspect Dylann Storm Roof, 21, who allegedly opened fire Wednesday evening at the church during a weekly Bible study gathering. Nine people were killed.
Roof posted on his Facebook page with flag patches from Apartheid-era South Africa and the racist Rhodesian regime that governed what is now Zimbabwe.
According to news reports, one survivor said that Roof said, “You rape our women and you’re taking over the country. You have to go.”