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RTX1H6RV
Charleston Church Shooting - 23 Jun 2015
Hundreds of people packed a sweltering Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston for an emotional memorial service on Sunday just days after a gunman, identified by authorities as a 21-year-old white man, shot dead nine black church members.

"We are reminded this morning about the freshness of death that comes like a thief in the night," the Reverend Norvel Goff told a mostly black congregation that swelled to about 400 people for a service remembering those killed on Wednesday in the latest U.S. mass shooting.

Armed police searched bags at the door of the church, home to the oldest African-American congregation in the southern United States, and officers stood at intervals inside the church along the side of the nave and in the gallery.

Outside the church, a large, mostly white crowd gathered to express solidarity with those inside.

Goff's rollicking sermon brought people alternately to tears and laughter as the church reopened to worshippers for the first time since the shooting. They whooped, cheered and raised their hands, and ended the service with embraces after Goff, whose voice rose to a shout at times, encouraged them to "hug three people next to you and tell them, 'It's going to be alright.'"
USA SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1HMMT
June 22, 2015
Marcus Bryant hugs Tim Grant (R) at the conclusion of a prayer service for the victims of the mass shooting...
North Charleston, UNITED STATES
Bryant hugs Grant at the conclusion of a prayer service for the victims of the mass shooting at Emanuel...
Marcus Bryant hugs Tim Grant (R) at the conclusion of a prayer service for the victims of the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, at Charleston Southern University in North Charleston, South Carolina, June 22, 2015. Grant's cousins Susie Jackson and Tswanza Sanders died in the attack. Charleston Southern University student Chris Singleton's mother Sharonda Coleman-Singleton also died in the shooting. REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH-CAROLINA
RTX1HIO6
June 22, 2015
People of different races hold hands as they gather on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. bridge in Charleston, June...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
People of different races hold hands as they gather on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. bridge in Charleston
People of different races hold hands as they gather on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. bridge in Charleston, June 21, 2015, after the first service at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church since a mass shooting left nine people dead. Hundreds of people packed the sweltering Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston for an emotional memorial service on Sunday just days after a gunman, identified by authorities as Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white man, shot dead nine black church members. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
USA SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1HMON
June 22, 2015
Students, faculty and administrators hold hands and pray during a remembrance service for the victims...
North Charleston, UNITED STATES
Students, faculty and administrators hold hands and pray during a remembrance service for the victims...
Students, faculty and administrators hold hands and pray during a remembrance service for the victims of the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, at Charleston Southern University in North Charleston, South Carolina June 22, 2015. Charleston Southern University student Chris Singleton's mother Sharonda Coleman-Singleton died in the shooting. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
USA SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1HMOK
June 22, 2015
Thomas Keating prays during a remembrance service for the victims of the mass shooting at Emanuel African...
North Charleston, UNITED STATES
Keating prays during a remembrance service for the victims of the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist...
Thomas Keating prays during a remembrance service for the victims of the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, at Charleston Southern University in North Charleston, South Carolina June 22, 2015. Charleston Southern University student Chris Singleton's mother Sharonda Coleman-Singleton died in the shooting. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
USA SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1HMOA
June 22, 2015
The names of the victims of the victims of the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church...
North Charleston, UNITED STATES
The names of the victims of the victims of the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church...
The names of the victims of the victims of the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church are displayed during a remembrance service at Charleston Southern University in North Charleston, South Carolina June 22, 2015. Charleston Southern University student Chris Singleton's mother Sharonda Coleman-Singleton died in the shooting. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH-CAROLINA
RTX1HMJJ
June 22, 2015
A sign is pictured at a makeshift memorial for victims of a mass shooting, outside the Emanuel African...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
A sign is pictured at a makeshift memorial for victims of a mass shooting, outside the Emanuel African...
A sign is pictured at a makeshift memorial for victims of a mass shooting, outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, June 22, 2015. Dylann Roof, was arrested on Thursday and charged with nine counts of murder for gunning down members of a Bible study group at the church, nicknamed "Mother Emanuel", after sitting with them for an hour on Wednesday night. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
USA SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1HC1Q
June 20, 2015
A crowd gathers outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church following a prayer vigil nearby...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
A crowd gathers outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church following a prayer vigil nearby...
A crowd gathers outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church following a prayer vigil nearby in Charleston, South Carolina, June 19, 2015, two days after a mass shooting left nine dead during a bible study at the church. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH-CAROLINA
RTX1HDZA
June 20, 2015
A pastor leads others in prayer during an impromptu prayer service outside the Emanuel African Methodist...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
A pastor leads others in prayer during an impromptu prayer service outside the Emanuel African Methodist...
A pastor leads others in prayer during an impromptu prayer service outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where a mass shooting took place, in Charleston, June 20, 2015. Mourners arrived in Charleston from around the United States on Saturday to pay their respects to nine black churchgoers killed in the attack this week, with services planned throughout the day ahead of a rally in the state capital later in the evening. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
USA SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1HG3R
June 21, 2015
Raymond Smith pays his respects outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston,...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
Raymond Smith pays his respects outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston
Raymond Smith pays his respects outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina June 21, 2015, ahead of the first service in the church since a mass shooting left nine people dead during a bible study. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
USA SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1HHHT
June 21, 2015
A woman prays outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina June...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
A woman prays outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston
A woman prays outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina June 21, 2015, during the first service in the church since a mass shooting left nine people dead during a bible study. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH-CAROLINA
RTX1HF6V
June 21, 2015
People pray outside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, June 20, 2015. Dylann Roof,...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
People pray outside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston
People pray outside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, June 20, 2015. Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old with a criminal record, is accused of killing nine people at a Bible-study meeting in the historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, in an attack U.S. officials are investigating as a hate crime. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1HH68
June 21, 2015
Church members places a black cloth on the chair of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, before services at the...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
Church members places a black cloth on the chair of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, before services at the...
Church members places a black cloth on the chair of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, before services at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, June 21, 2015. The church held its first service since a mass shooting left nine people dead during a bible study. REUTERS/David Goldman/Pool
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH-CAROLINA
RTX1HFBK
June 21, 2015
A sign of support is pictured at a makeshift memorial at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
A sign of support is pictured at a makeshift memorial at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in...
A sign of support is pictured at a makeshift memorial at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, June 20, 2015. Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old with a criminal record, is accused of killing nine people at a Bible-study meeting in the historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, in an attack U.S. officials are investigating as a hate crime. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH-CAROLINA
RTX1HF6Y
June 21, 2015
A father carries his son on his back as they listen to gospel music being sung during a vigil outside...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
A father carries his son on his back as they listen to gospel music being sung during a vigil outside...
A father carries his son on his back as they listen to gospel music being sung during a vigil outside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, June 20, 2015. The church will reopen tomorrow for its first service since Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old with a criminal record, is accused of killing nine people at a Bible-study meeting in the historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, in an attack U.S. officials are investigating as a hate crime. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1HIMQ
June 22, 2015
A woman writes her name on a memorial message board outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
A woman writes her name on a memorial message board outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church...
A woman writes her name on a memorial message board outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina June 21, 2015, after the first service in the church since a mass shooting left nine people dead during a bible study. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1HF36
June 21, 2015
Jay Bender holds a sign asking for the removal of the confederate battle flag that flies at the South...
Columbia, UNITED STATES
Jay Bender holds a sign asking for the removal of the confederate battle flag that flies at the South...
Jay Bender holds a sign asking for the removal of the confederate battle flag that flies at the South Carolina State House in Columbia, SC June 20, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Miczek
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH-CAROLINA
RTX1HF0F
June 21, 2015
People take part in "Black Lives Matter" march around Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston,...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
People take part in "Black Lives Matter" march around Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston...
People take part in "Black Lives Matter" march around Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, June 20, 2015. Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old with a criminal record, is accused of killing nine people at a Bible-study meeting in the historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, in an attack U.S. officials are investigating as a hate crime. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
USA SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1HEWP
June 21, 2015
Demonstrators take part in the "March for Black Lives" in Charleston, South Carolina, June 20, 2015,...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
Demonstrators take part in the "March for Black Lives" in Charleston
Demonstrators take part in the "March for Black Lives" in Charleston, South Carolina, June 20, 2015, three days after a mass shooting left nine people dead during a bible study at the church. The flag demonstrators carried shows a black fist closing around the confederate flag. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1H5PW
June 18, 2015
Police lead suspected shooter Dylann Roof, 21, into the courthouse in Shelby, North Carolina, June 18,...
SHELBY, UNITED STATES
Police lead suspected shooter Dylann Roof into the courthouse in Shelby, North Carolina
Police lead suspected shooter Dylann Roof, 21, into the courthouse in Shelby, North Carolina, June 18, 2015. Roof, a 21-year-old with a criminal record, is accused of killing nine people at a Bible-study meeting in a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, in an attack U.S. officials are investigating as a hate crime. REUTERS/Jason Miczek
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1H4TI
June 18, 2015
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) delivers remarks in reaction to the shooting deaths of nine people at...
Washington, UNITED STATES
Obama delivers remarks in reaction to the shooting deaths of nine people at an African-American church...
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) delivers remarks in reaction to the shooting deaths of nine people at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, from the podium in the press briefing room of the White House in Washington June 18, 2015. Vice President Joe Biden listens at left. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
USA-SHOOTING-SOUTH-CAROLINA
RTX1H5RG
June 18, 2015
Rev. Sandy Drayton sheds a tear during a prayer vigil held at Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston,...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
Rev. Sandy Drayton sheds a tear during a prayer vigil held at Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston
Rev. Sandy Drayton sheds a tear during a prayer vigil held at Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, June 18, 2015. A white man suspected of killing nine people in a Bible-study group at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina was arrested on Thursday and U.S. officials are investigating the attack as a hate crime. REUTERS/Grace Beahm/Pool
USA-SHOOTING-SOUTH-CAROLINA
RTX1H5L5
June 18, 2015
Reverend Richard Harkness (L) holds hands with Reverend Jack Lewin as the whole church sings "We Shall...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
Reverend Richard Harkness (L) holds hands with Reverend Jack Lewin as the whole church sings "We Shall...
Reverend Richard Harkness (L) holds hands with Reverend Jack Lewin as the whole church sings "We Shall Overcome" at the close of a prayer vigil held at Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, June 18, 2015. A white man suspected of killing nine people in a Bible-study group at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina was arrested on Thursday and U.S. officials are investigating the attack as a hate crime. REUTERS/Grace Beahm/Pool
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1H5ZR
June 18, 2015
Police lead suspected shooter Dylann Roof into the courthouse in Shelby, North Carolina, June 18, 2015....
SHELBY, UNITED STATES
Police lead suspected shooter Dylann Roof into the courthouse in Shelby, North Carolina
Police lead suspected shooter Dylann Roof into the courthouse in Shelby, North Carolina, June 18, 2015. Roof, a 21-year-old with a criminal record, is accused of killing nine people at a Bible-study meeting in a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, in an attack U.S. officials are investigating as a hate crime. REUTERS/Jason Miczek
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1H4GE
June 18, 2015
People view flowers on a road leading to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church the morning after...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
People view flowers on a road leading to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church the morning after...
People view flowers on a road leading to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church the morning after a mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina June 18, 2015. A 21-year-old white gunman accused of killing nine people at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, was arrested on Thursday, said U.S. officials, who are investigating the attack as a hate crime REUTERS/Brian Snyder
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTHCAROLINA
RTX1H60I
June 18, 2015
Mourners Ashley Edge (L) and Brad Hutchinson hold one another outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
Mourners Ashley Edge and Brad Hutchinson hold one another outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal...
Mourners Ashley Edge (L) and Brad Hutchinson hold one another outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina June 18, 2015, a day after a mass shooting left nine dead during a bible study at the church. The Reverend Clementa Pinckney, the church's Pastor as listed on the board, was one of the victims. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
USA SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1H6BY
June 18, 2015
Mourners hold hands outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina,...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
Mourners hold hands outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston
Mourners hold hands outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, June 18, 2015 a day after a mass shooting left nine dead during a bible study at the church. Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white man, was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of having fatally shot nine people at the historic African-American church in South Carolina. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Wednesday's attack as a hate crime, motivated by racism or other prejudice. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
USA-SHOOTING-SOUTH-CAROLINA
RTX1H5O6
June 18, 2015
U.S. Senator Tim Scott (C) bows his head in prayer during a prayer vigil held at Morris Brown AME Church...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
U.S. Senator Tim Scott bows his head in prayer during a prayer vigil held at Morris Brown AME Church...
U.S. Senator Tim Scott (C) bows his head in prayer during a prayer vigil held at Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, June 18, 2015. A white man suspected of killing nine people in a Bible-study group at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina was arrested on Thursday and U.S. officials are investigating the attack as a hate crime. REUTERS/Grace Beahm/Pool
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTHCAROLINA
RTX1H5J0
June 18, 2015
A capacity crowd fills the pews during a prayer service for Wednesday's shooting victims held at the...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
A capacity crowd fills the pews during a prayer service for Wednesday's shooting victims held at the...
A capacity crowd fills the pews during a prayer service for Wednesday's shooting victims held at the Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina June 18, 2015. A white man suspected of killing nine people in a Bible-study group at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina was arrested on Thursday and U.S. officials are investigating the attack as a hate crime. REUTERS/Randall Hill
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1H5GC
June 18, 2015
Nine-year-old Liam Eller (L), helps a police officer move flowers left behind outside Emanuel African...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
Nine-year-old Liam Eller helps a police officer move flowers left behind outside Emanuel African Methodist...
Nine-year-old Liam Eller (L), helps a police officer move flowers left behind outside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church after the street was re-opened a day after a mass shooting left nine dead during a bible study at the church in Charleston, South Carolina June 18, 2015. A 21-year-old white gunman accused of killing nine people at a historic church was arrested on Thursday, said U.S. officials, who are investigating the attack as a hate crime. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1H526
June 18, 2015
Mourners hold hands as they pause outside Morris Brown AME Church during a vigil the day after a mass...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
Mourners hold hands as they pause outside Morris Brown AME Church during a vigil the day after a mass...
Mourners hold hands as they pause outside Morris Brown AME Church during a vigil the day after a mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina June 18, 2015. A 21-year-old white gunman accused of killing nine people at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, was arrested on Thursday, said U.S. officials, who are investigating the attack as a hate crime. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1GZWM
June 18, 2015
A person seeks information about a relative as police respond to a shooting at the Emanuel AME Church...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
A person seeks information about a relative as police respond to a shooting at the Emanuel AME Church...
A person seeks information about a relative as police respond to a shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, June 17, 2015. A gunman opened fire on Wednesday evening at the historic African-American church in downtown Charleston. REUTERS/Randall Hill
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1GZV7
June 18, 2015
Police respond to a shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina June 17, 2015. A...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
Police respond to a shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston South Carolina
Police respond to a shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina June 17, 2015. A gunman opened fire on Wednesday evening at the historic African-American church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, and was still at large, a U.S. police official said. REUTERS/Randall Hill
USA-SHOOTING/SOUTH CAROLINA
RTX1GZXL
June 18, 2015
A small prayer circle forms nearby where police are responding to a shooting at the Emanuel AME Church...
Charleston, UNITED STATES
A small prayer circle forms nearby where police are responding to a shooting at the Emanuel AME Church...
A small prayer circle forms nearby where police are responding to a shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, June 17, 2015. A gunman opened fire on Wednesday evening at the historic African-American church in downtown Charleston. REUTERS/Randall Hill
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