Convicted murderer Dylann Roof should repent of the massacre of nine people he killed at Mother Emanuel church, the victims’ survivors said after a jury recommended the death penalty Jan. 10.
“Judgment day is coming sooner for him than what he expected,” Denise Quarles, daughter of massacre victim Myra Thompson, said on ABC News after the jury’s decision was announced. “He definitely needs to [repent].” Her father and Thompson’s widow Anthony Thompson said “yes” in agreement.
Roof, an avowed white supremacist, affirmed his decision to kill the black worshippers as recently as the December 2016 sentencing phase of the trial, it was widely reported. Acting as his own attorney, he said, “I felt like I had to do it and I still feel like I have to do it,” Roof said then, ABC News reported.
Myra Thompson, a 59-year-old wife and mother of two children, was among those Roof killed after they welcomed him to a June 17, 2015 Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (also known as Mother Emanuel AME) in Charleston, S.C. During the closing prayer, Roof began firing 77 rounds from a Glock .45 caliber handgun, reloading the 13-round chamber several times before leaving the church.
Melvin Graham, the brother of 54-year-old victim Cynthia Graham Hurd, also encouraged Roof to repent.
“He’s in God’s hands now,” Graham said in an interview recorded by several news outlets, including PBS, outside the federal courthouse in Charleston. “And if he turns his life around, if he makes a humble confession to God … he can join my sister and the other eight in heaven. Because God said, ‘I will forgive you for no matter what you do, I will forgive you,'” said Graham, paraphrasing Scripture.
“Just like when he showed no remorse here, when that time comes if he chooses not to show any remorse, then he again will determine his sentence,” said Graham, a father and grandfather who lives in Goose Creek. “He has another chance.”
Family members of the victims notably expressed forgiveness to Roof before the Grand Jury when charges were filed against the white supremacist, but Graham said he’s still trying to forgive Roof.
“I’m a work in progress,” Graham said during the interview, but expressed assurance that in time “peace will come.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press