CHARLESTON, S.C. (TheBlaze/AP) — The historic black church where nine people were killed will reopen for a Sunday service.
Members of the historic Emanuel African Methodist Church stand in front of the church on June 20, 2015, and announce that services and Sunday school will go ahead as scheduled tomorrow, four days after the pastor and eight other people were shot to death in the church in Charleston, South Carolina. (Image source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Cleaning crews mopped up the crime scene on Saturday and some members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church entered it for the first time since the shooting Wednesday night.
Harold Washington, 75, was with the group and saw the room the victims were shot in.
"They did a good job cleaning it up," he said. "There were a few bullet holes around but ... they cut them out so you don't see the actual holes."
He said he expected an emotional service Sunday and a large turnout.
"We're gonna have people come by that we've never seen before and will probably never see again, and that's OK," he said. "It's a church of the Lord — you don't turn nobody down."
Relatives of Rev. Depayne Middleton Doctor visit the historic Emanuel African Methodist Church where Doctor and eight others were shot to death June 20, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. Members of the church announced that services and Sunday school will go ahead as scheduled tomorrow, four days after the murder of nine churchgoers. (Image source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Church members exhibited that same welcoming nature when suspected killer Dylann Roof walked into their Bible study, said shooting survivor Felecia Sanders at Roof's bail hearing Friday.
Sanders lost her son Tywanza in the attack.
Other victims included the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a state senator who doubled as the church's lead pastor, and those who played multiple roles in their families and communities.
They included ministers and coaches, teachers and a librarian, counselors and choir singers and the elderly sexton who made sure the church was kept clean.
Karma Thompson (C) prays with Betty Owens (L) and Linda Blankenship from the Master's Touch Ministries outside the historic Emanuel African Methodist Church where nine people were shot to death earlier this week, June 20, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. (Image source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
A police affidavit released Friday accused Roof of shooting all nine multiple times, and making a "racially inflammatory statement" as he stood over an unidentified survivor.
Roof had complained while getting drunk on vodka recently that "blacks were taking over the world" and that "someone needed to do something about it for the white race," according to Joey Meek, who tipped off the FBI when he saw his friend on surveillance images.
Roof is being held in jail, facing nine counts of murder and a weapons charge. A federal law enforcement official close to the investigation said the FBI is aware of a website linked to Roof which contains his purported manifesto and is reviewing it. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the case.
Contributors include Phillip Lucas, Meg Kinnard and David Goldman.
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