Throughout Thursday, media attention was transfixed by Dylann Roof, the suspected shooter in the recent massacre at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina. At the same time, however, comparatively few media reports are devoting much attention to the victims. Even more than 12 hours after the incident, relatively little is known and even reliable photographs of each individual killed have been difficult to locate.
Throughout the country, vigils were held to commemorate the dead and to honor the lives they had lived. Below are the nine ordinary people taken from the world before their time.
1. Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41
The 41-year-old pastor and South Carolina state senator was the most publicly known victim of Wednesday night's shooting. Previously, Pinckney had been well-known as a community activist and supported legislation requiring police to wear body cameras. The senator also served on the Southern Mutual Insurance Company's board of directors. He leaves behind a wife and two children, according to an official government website.
2. Cynthia Hurd, 54
According to her employer, the Charleston County Public Library, Cynthia Hurd "dedicated her life to serving and improving the lives of others." Photos of Hurd smiling can be seen on the library's Flickr page. In honor of her death and 31 years of service, the library announced it would close all its branches Thursday. "Her loss is incomprehensible," the CCPL said, Buzzfeed reported.
3. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45
Pinckney wasn't the only religious leader taken in Wednesday's massacre. Another reverend at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton was also a local high school track coach and a mother of three. The Facebook page of Goose Creek High School described their loss and said a vigil would be held in Coleman-Singleton's honor at 7:00 p.m. Thursday. Her son Chris also asked for prayers from his Twitter account.
4. Tywanza Sanders, 26
The banner of Tywanza Sanders' Facebook page reads "your dreams are calling you." For him, that meant a degree from Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina, in their Division of Business Administration in 2014. Sanders, who friends suggested was shy, had expressed an interest in broadcasting. In a statement reported by Buzzfeed, the school's vice president of Institutional Advancement, Flavia Eldemire, said Sanders was "a quiet, well-known student who was committed to his education." Initial reports indicate he died while protecting other members of his family.
5. Myra Thompson, 59
Myra Thompson was the wife of another religious figure, Rev. Anthony Thompson, the vicar of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church in Charleston. Church official Archbishop Foley Beach asked followers to pray in the aftermath.
6. Ethel Lee Lance, 70
Ethel Lee Lance was a grandmother and sexton at Emanuel AME when her life was taken. Her grandson Jon Quil Lance told the Post and Courier, "Granny was the heart of the family," and added she had worked in the church for more than three decades.
7. Susie Jackson, 87
Another grandmother, Susie Jackson was also a longtime member of Emanuel AME and was identified as a victim by a relative. She was also Lance's cousin, according to the Post and Courier.
8. Daniel L. Simmons, 74
The only victim who did not die at the church, 74-year-old Daniel Simmons succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital, authorities said at a press conference Thursday. Simmons, a retired pastor from another church, regularly attended Wednesday Bible study services at Emanuel AME and June 17, 2015 was, tragically, no exception, ABC News reported.
9. Depayne Middleton Doctor, 49
According to her LinkedIn profile, Doctor worked as a former manager of the U.S. Department of Commerce and graduated from Southern Wesleyan University with a Master's degree, Organizational Management.