Charleston Church Massacre Victim's Grieving Son: 'We Forgive'

Rachel Bertsche
·Writer
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Charleston Emanuel A.M.E Church shooting victim, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, with her children (from left) Caleb, Chris, and Camryn. (Photo: Sharonda Coleman-Singleton/Facebook)

The children of Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, one of the nine victims in Wednesday’s mass shooting at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, have publicly forgiven the shooter.

Coleman-Singleton, 45, was a speech therapist and track and field coach at Goose Creek High School in suburban Charleston. She was also a reverend at Emanuel A.M.E. and a single mother of three: Chris, Camryn and Caleb.

STORY: How to Explain Devastating Charleston Shooting to Kids

On Thursday, a standing-room only memorial service was held at Goose Creek High School, where her family was in attendance. After the program, the Singleton children spoke to news station WCBD. “We forgive, that’s one thing we are going to do. We forgive right now for everything that’s happened” said Chris, a sophomore at Charleston Southern University and member of the school’s baseball team. “She’s the best mom I ever could even ask for and, honestly, it’s going to be tough but I know we will get through it as a family.”

STORY: Mom and Dad of Colorado Shooter Speak Out: ‘We Were Good Parents’

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Chris Singleton (left), son of church massacre victim Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, said Thursday that he and his siblings will forgive his mother’s shooter. (Photo: Sharonda Coleman-Singleton/Facebook)

“That’s what she would want,” Camryn said. “I know she’s in a great place right now.”

In a press conference at Charleston Southern University Thursday evening, surrounded by members of his baseball team, Chris spoke out again about his mother. “We are mourning right now but I know we’ll get through it,” he said. “My mom was a God-fearing woman and she loved everybody with all her heart. Love is always stronger than hate, so if we just love the way my mom would, then the hate won’t be anywhere close to what love is.”

Police on Thursday arrested  Dylann Storm Roof, 21. On Friday, he was charged with nine counts of murder.

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