(CHARLESTON, S.C.) — More than 100 people gathered on a baseball field Thursday night not far from the church where nine people were shot to death Wednesday night.
Black and white, they gathered in a huge circle and held hands in a sign of defiance against the racial hatred thought to have led to bloodshed in the church.
Chris Singleton, the son of victim Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, spoke at the baseball field vigil surrounded by baseball teammates from Charleston Southern University.
“We will get through this. It will get better,” Singleton, a sophomore at the University, said. “I say love is always stronger than hate, love like my Mom would.”
Head Coach Stuart Lake said the players and coaches are hurting and are praying for Singleton and his family.
“Chris’s mother was just that parent that as a coach you are proud to have as part of your program, said Lake. “What she brought to our team is immeasurable.”
Meanwhile, an uncle of the alleged shooter, Carson Cowles, told ABC News his family is grieving for everyone who lost their lives Wednesday night.
“I would love to go to the community and meet those people but they’d probably want to kill me. I would love to meet some of these people and tell them just how sorry I am,” Cowles said. “I could only beg for their forgiveness, not for him, but for the rest of my family.”
On the other side of town, Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old suspect, is on suicide watch in jail.
The Justice Department is now investigating the murders as a hate crime.
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