Former NC senator’s sister among 9 killed in Charleston church shooting

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Cynthia Hurd.

The sister of former North Carolina senator Malcolm Graham was among the nine people killed while attending a Bible study inside the Emmanuel AME church in Charleston Wednesday night.

Cynthia Hurd was a librarian at the Charleston Public Library for 31 years. Hurd had “dedicated her life to serving and improving the lives of others,” the Charleston County Public Library system said in a statement.

“Charleston County Public Library is saddened to confirm the loss of one of our own in Wednesday’s shooting at the Mother Emmanuel AME Church,” the statement said. “To honor our co-worker and all those lost, Charleston County Public Library’s 16 locations are closed today, Thursday, June 18, 2015.”

Hurd was the manager of the St. Andrews Regional Library, located a little more than six miles from the church where she was shot and killed.

“My sister, Ms. Cynthia Marie Graham-Hurd, was a victim of the senseless hate crime at Emanuel AME Church. It is unimaginable that she would walk into church and not return,” former Senator Graham said in a statement Thursday. “But that’s who she was – a woman of faith. This is a very difficult time for our family, and Cynthia will be sorely missed.”

“Our family is close-knit, and our faith will see us through. I also extend condolences to the other families of Emanuel AME Church and the city of Charleston who have been affected by this inconceivable tragedy,” he continued. “My family and I appreciate the thoughts and prayers from people across North Carolina and South Carolina.”

Sen. Clementa Pinckney

Sen. Clementa Pinckney

Also killed was S.C. Sen. Clementa Pinckney, a pastor well-known for fighting racism from the pulpit and with public policy. Sen. Pinckney also was an alum of Allen University in Columbia, S.C.

Another Allen University alum, Tywanza Sanders, was also killed. He was a 2014 graduate. Allen University in a statement described him as a quiet, well-known student who was committed to his education.
“Our hearts and prayers are with the families of these two victims of this senseless act of violence.” – Dr. Lady June Cole, Interim President of Allen University.

A Charleston university said that the mother of one of its students was killed in the church shooting, the Washington Post reported.

“We are especially mourning the loss of Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, the mother of rising sophomore Chris Singleton,” Charleston Southern University President Jairy C. Hunter Jr. said in a statement Thursday.

Chris Singleton is a member of the university’s baseball team, Hunter said. He added that the team’s players and coaches are reeling from the shooting, with the head coach saying Sharonda Coleman-Singleton made an “immeasurable” contribution to the team.

Another killed was Myra Thompson.

Dylan Storm Roof, the 21-year-old man who police say walked into a South Carolina church and fatally shot nine people attending Bible study class, was arrested in Shelby, N.C., on Thursday, about 250 miles from Charleston.

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