CHARLESTON S.C. (WSAV) – Wednesday is the fifth anniversary of the massacre at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Nine black church members, including state senator Rev. Clementa Pinckney, were killed by a 21-year-old white supremacist.
The pastor’s wife, Jennifer Pinckney, said the last words she heard from her husband before he headed to Bible study were “I love you.”
Jennifer Pinckney and her then six-year-old daughter, were in the Reverend’s office when they heard the first set of gunshots. White supremacist, Dylan Roof, sat through nearly an hour of Bible study before he began shooting the church members while they were praying. Authorities said Roof left a racist manifesto and several pictures of him posing with the confederate flag. He was sentenced to death in 2017—becoming the first person to be sentenced to death for a federal hate crime. Local leaders in South Carolina are rallying for anti-hate crime legislation to be passed in the state.
The Reverend’s window said the following statement about her late husband in a recent interview: “He was a man of unity. He was a man of love. He was a man of compassion. He was about bringing people together. We didn’t raise—and I still don’t raise—our daughters to hate. We raised them to respect, to love, to help out those that need to be helped out.”
The following memorial services are being recognized for the victims, survivors, and their families:
- Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. advocacy group CHS Students for Black Lives will lead a peaceful march in Charleston from Marion Square to Mother Emanuel AME Church.
- Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. the Mother Emanuel AME Church Pastor Thomas Dixon will give a memorial service
- On Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. there will be a Unity Rally held at the Charleston Maritime Center
- “Emanuel,” a documentary about the victims and their families is available to stream online via Vimeo