For The Root Thursday I wrote about Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney who was tragically murdered along with eight others when 21-year-old Dylann Roof opened fire on a Bible study group at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C. Wednesday night. Thursday was an incredibly sad day, hearing about those who died, but Pinckney’s name was the first confirmation we received of who died, so I quickly wrote a post about Pinckney who his friend, Bakari Sellers, described as an “all-around good guy.”
He served the people, both in the church and as a state senator, and he was tragically killed in his own church during a shooting Wednesday that also took the lives of six women and two other men.
He was South Carolina pastor and state Sen. Clementa C. Pinckney, one of the victims of a terrorist attack on the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.
The Rev. Pinckney, 41, was elected to the state Legislature in 1997 at age 23, making him one of the youngest members of the House at the time. He served as a state representative from 1997 until he later ran for the state Senate and won in 2001. He had recently met with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while she was visiting South Carolina as part of her run for president of the United States.
A friend of Pinckney’s, trial attorney Bakari Sellers, 30, described him as an “all-around good guy” with a “bombastic” baritone voice.
Sellers, a former South Carolina state representative who served with Pinckney in the state Legislature 2006-2014, was devastated by news of the shooting. He said he was on an “emotional roller coaster,” going from meeting with former Secretary Clinton Wednesday “a few blocks away from where the shooting happen[ed]” to complete despair.
“It was tough. It is tough,” Sellers said. “It’s amazing that he was murdered while he was praying in his church because he served his people and served his Lord; all we can do is keep praying. I really don’t know. I’m tired. It’s something every week. I’m not sure what we’ll do, but we have prayer.”