Family and friends of the late Sen. Clementa Pinckney paid their respects to the Charleston shooting victim on Wednesday afternoon, NBC affiliate WYFF reports.
Thousands of people waited in line for hours to say goodbye to the pastor and politician at the South Carolina State House. Those in attendance included state Governor Nikki Haley and Angela Clyburn Hannibal, the daughter of U.S. Congressman Jim Clyburn. Due to the scorching heat, the American Red Cross handed out water and assisted supporters. The viewing was scheduled to end at 5 p.m., but continued until 6 p.m. due to the vast amount of supporters.
Pinckney was one of nine people killed in the shooting at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last week. Authorities are investigating the shooting as a hate crime after suspected gunman Dylann Roof admitted he intentionally wanted to kill Black people.
Pinckney’s wife and two daughters showed strength throughout the viewing, as they hugged supporters and friends of the late pastor. Six-year-old Malana and her mother Jennifer were inside the church when the gunman opened fire during bible study. The couple also has an 11-year-old daughter, Eliana.
Photos of fellow shooting victims Cynthia Hurd, Suzy Jackson, Ethel Lance, Depayne Middleton Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Summons Sr, Myra Thompson and Sharonda Coleman-Singleton were also presented by their families during the viewing.
Supporters said they didn’t mind the long lines and heat. Showing their love and admiration for the beloved politician was well worth it.
“I knew it was going to be hot, but I’m ready. I want to pay respects to a wonderful person like him,” said Maria Coco Saavedra of Lexington, S.C. “This line is amazing. We are all colors, all nationalities, waiting here in line peacefully, talking to each other, which is wonderful and peace is what need in this world.”
Two more viewings will take place this week — one from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at St. John AME Church on Tillman Road in Ridgeland, and another from 6-8 p.m. at Emanuel AME Church.
The funeral, which President Barack Obama will eulogize, takes place on Friday at College of Charleston’s TD Arena. Vice president Joe Biden will also be in attendance.
SOURCE: WYFF | VIDEO CREDIT: NDN
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