CHARLESTON, S.C. – One was a longtime librarian looking forward to retirement. Another had recently graduated from college with a business degree. At least two died in the church that they had attended for decades.
A look at some of the nine lives that were cut short by the gunman who opened fire in a black church in downtown Charleston:
Pinckney, 41, was the beloved pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Church, one of the country's oldest black churches, and had been a state legislator for 19 years.
Just one year after graduating from Allen University in 1995, Pinckney became, at 23, the youngest African-American elected to the South Carolina Legislature. In 2000, he was elected to the state Senate.
He earned a master's degree in public administration from the University of South Carolina in 1999 and studied at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.
A native of Beaufort, Pinckney began preaching at age 13 and was first appointed pastor at 18. He was named pastor of Mother Emanuel AME Church in 2010, according to the state Democratic Party.
"He had a core not many of us have," said Sen. Vincent Sheheen, who sat beside him in Senate chambers. "I think of the irony that the most gentle of the 46 of us — the best of the 46 of us in this chamber — is the one who lost his life."
He is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and two children, Eliana and Malana.
Lance, 70, was a Charleston native who had been a member of the church for most of her life. She retired after working for more than 30 years on the housekeeping staff at the city's Gaillard Auditorium.
She had served as a sexton at the church for the last five years, helping to keep the historic building clean. She was also a lover of gospel music.
"She was a God-fearing woman," said granddaughter Najee Washington, 23, who lived with Lance. "She was the heart of the family, and she still is. She is a very caring, giving and loving woman. She was beautiful inside and out."
Lance had five children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Cynthia Hurd's brother took some comfort in knowing his happy-go-lucky sister died in the church she grew up in and loved.
Hurd, 54, was the manager of one of the busiest branches of the Charleston County library system. In her honor, the system closed all 16 of its branches Thursday, the day after her death.
She grew up in Charleston, and her mother made sure they went Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Sundays, Wednesdays and any other time it was open, said her brother Malcom Graham, a former state senator from North Carolina.
"I wasn't surprised on a Wednesday night she was there," Graham said Thursday as he stood a couple of blocks from the church.
Hurd's husband is a merchant sailor currently at sea near Saudi Arabia. Graham was trying to help him get home.
When Graham spoke to his sister last weekend, she said she couldn't wait for her 55th birthday on Sunday, he said.
She was also looking toward retirement after 31 years of library work. The library issued a statement remembering Hurd as "a tireless servant of the community who spent her life helping residents, making sure they had every opportunity for an education and personal growth."
Doctor, 49, was an enrollment counselor at Southern Wesleyan University's Charleston campus, according to a friend.
She joined the Emanuel AME church at the beginning of the year and soon began teaching Wednesday evening Bible class.
Doctor had four daughters, ranging in age from elementary school to a senior in college. She was separated from her husband.
Latrice Smalls described her cousin as "a songstress" who began singing as a girl, particularly gospel music, and performed for her church and her family. She attended Columbia College and then moved back to her hometown of Charleston.
Sanders, 26, graduated last year from Allen University, where he studied business. In a news release, the school described Sanders as "a quiet, well-known student" with "a warm and helpful spirit."
On his Instagram account, Sanders called himself a poet, artist and businessman. His photos were filled with friends, smiles, family members and motivational quotes.
Hours before the shooting, he put up his final post, a meme with a quote from Jackie Robinson. It read: "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."