Dylann Roof, the man who killed nine people at the Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina, made his first court appearance this afternoon (Local time).
In court, the victims’ family members said they had forgiven him.
Representatives for the families of Ethel Lance and Myra Thompson told him that they forgive him. “I will never talk to her again,” a family representative for Lance said.
“I will never hold her again. … you hurt me, you hurt our people, let God forgive you, and I forgive you.”
A representative for Thompson said he also forgives Roof.
The mother of victim Tywanza Sanders said: “We invited you to our Bible study at 8 p.m. Wednesday. May God have mercy on you.”
The judge, in his opening statement, said that Roof’s family are also victims. that statement has however sparked outrage, with many people in South Carolina wondering why the judge would show sympathy for the suspect.
The judge has set the bond on Roof’s weapon charge at $1 million; no bond was set for the nine counts of murder against Roof.