'I Forgive You': Watch Victims' Relatives Make Powerful Statements to SC Gunman
The man who killed nine people in a South Carolina church made his first court appearance moments ago at a bond hearing.
Dylann Roof, 21, was arrested yesterday after the mass shooting during a prayer meeting Wednesday night at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston.
Sources close to the investigation told Fox News earlier today that Roof has confessed, reportedly saying he hoped to start a "race war."
Family members of the victims were asked to make statements, though some declined.
The daughter of shooting victim Ethel Lance told Roof, “I forgive you. You took something very precious away from me. I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you and have mercy on your soul. You hurt me, you hurt a lot of people, but God forgives you, and I forgive you.”
The mother of 26-year-old Tywanza Sanders told Roof that he killed some of the most beautiful people she has ever known, adding that they welcomed him into their Bible study with open arms.
“Every fiber in my body hurts, and I’ll never be the same,” she said.
The judge said he could not set bond on the nine murder charges, but set a $1 million bond on the weapon possession charge against Roof.
His next court appearance was scheduled for Oct. 23, 2015.
The Justice Department announced Thursday that the shooting would be investigated as a hate crime.
Friends of Roof have said he harbored racist views and obtained a gun when he turned 21 in April.
Watch part of the hearing above. Hear family members of the victims address the gunman in the video below.