Dear Commons Community,
Andre McPherson was one of hundreds from Charleston and nearby towns who filed by the church doors on Thursday, paying respects to the nine who died after being shot inside the previous night. The suspected gunman, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, had apparently been welcomed as a stranger to the church’s regular Wednesday evening Bible study session, spending an hour with the group before opening fire. One woman reportedly said he told her he was letting her go so she could tell the story of what happened.
Roof, who is white, was arrested Thursday in Shelby, North Carolina, and was returned to Charleston to face murder and hate-crime charges. His first court appearance was scheduled for Friday.
Members of the church stood out on Calhoun Street in downtown Charleston on Thursday, gazing up at its facade, bewildered by the massacre.
The whole country is bewildered by the massacre of innocent parishioners in a house of worship.