President Barack Obama is marveling at the willingness of relatives of the shooting victims at a historic black church to forgive the man accused of the killings.
Obama is calling it "an expression of faith that is unimaginable but that reflects the goodness of the American people."
Relatives of the nine people shot down during a Bible study session at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, told suspect Dylann Storm Roof during an initial court appearance that they forgave him.
The president responded Friday night in San Francisco as he was raising money to benefit House Democratic candidates. He says the shooting is what he's been thinking about most in the past couple of days during a California fundraising swing.
Obama also repeated to the donors that mass shootings happen way too often. He said, "It's not enough for us to express sympathy; we have to take action."
The county magistrate judge who oversaw a hearing for the white man accused of killing nine people at a black church was previously reprimanded for saying a racial slur from the bench.
Charleston Chief Magistrate James B. Gosnell Jr. prompted controversy at a bond hearing for Dylann Roof on Friday when he asked for sympathy for Roof's family as well as the victims.
In 2005, the South Carolina Supreme Court issued a public reprimand for misconduct to Gosnell. According to documents, in November 2003 Gosnell presided over a bond reduction hearing where he knew the defendant's father. Speaking to the black defendant, Gosnell told the man "there are four kinds of people in this world — black people, white people, red necks, and n-----."
In his defense, the judge said he was simply repeating a saying he had heard from a veteran sheriff's deputy who was black.
When coupled with a separate allegation that Gosnell had shown improper favoritism to another judge arrested for drunken driving, the justices voted to issue a public reprimand, specifically citing "his racial remark."
Newly released police documents say the white man accused of killing nine people inside a black church stood over a witness and made a racially inflammatory remark.
Affidavits released Friday say 21-year-old Dylann Roof began shooting about an hour after he entered the Bible study at the church. It says he shot all nine victims multiple times, and that he stood over a witness and made the racial remark after the shooting.
The affidavits say Roof walked into the church around 8:06 p.m. Wednesday wearing a fanny pack, and that he walked out about an hour later holding a handgun.
The documents also say that Roof's father and uncle called authorities after seeing surveillance photos of him publicized. Roof's father told investigators his son owned a .45-caliber handgun, the affidavits say.
The sister of one of the women killed inside a black church in Charleston says she is "very angry," but that her sister taught her that "we are the family that love built."
Bethane Middleton-Brown spoke Friday during a hearing for 21-year-old Dylann Roof, who is accused of killing nine people inside the church and faces nine counts of murder. Gov. Nikki Haley has called for him to face the death penalty.
Middleton-Brown's sister, DePayne Middleton-Doctor, was among the dead. She says her family has no room for hate and that they have to forgive. However, she also told Roof: "I also thank God I won't be around when your judgment day comes with him."
The woman who survived a shooting massacre at a historic black church in Charleston by playing dead even as her son was killed told the suspect that their Bible study welcomed him with open arms, but now she'll never be the same.
Felecia Sanders is the mother of Tywanza Sanders, who was one of the nine killed in Wednesday's shooting.
At Friday's bond hearing for 21-year-old Dylann Roof, she told him from as he appeared via video link at jail: "You have killed some of the most beautifulest people that I know. Every fiber in my body hurts."
She also said: "Tywanza Sanders was my son, but Tywanza was my hero."
According to a woman who spoke with her, Felecia Sanders has said she survived by playing dead as she lay on top of her granddaughter to protect her.
The husband of one of the women shot and killed at a historic black church in Charleston says he forgives the man accused of slaying her and eight others.
Anthony Thompson said during a court hearing Friday for the suspect, Dylann Roof, that he and his family forgive him. He asked the 21-year-old Roof to repent and confess, and to give his life to Christ. He says "do that and you'll be better off than you are right now."
Roof did not appear to react as the families gave their statements. He is charged with nine counts of murder, and Gov. Nikki Haley has called for him to face the death penalty.
The Justice Department says it is investigating the slayings at a black church in Charleston from all angles, including whether it could be a hate crime or domestic terrorism.
Agency spokeswoman Emily Pierce said in a statement Friday that "heartbreaking episode was undoubtedly designed to strike fear and terror into this community" and that the investigation is ongoing.
Authorities say 21-year-old Dylann Roof opened fire at a Bible study at the church, killing nine people. He has been charged with nine counts of murder, and the governor has called for him to face the death penalty.
A friend has said Roof had made racist statements in recent weeks, including saying that black people were taking over the country and that something needed to be done for the sake of whites.
The man accused of killing nine people inside a black church in Charleston has made his first court appearance, with the relatives of all the victims making tearful statements.
Dylann Roof appeared via video before a judge in South Carolina. He wore a jail jumpsuit and was handcuffed, and spoke only to answer questions. When asked his age, he told the judge he was 21. He also told the judge he was unemployed.
Relatives of the shooting victims also spoke at the hearing, with one victim's daughter sobbing as she said, "I forgive you."
The mother of Tywanza Sanders told Roof that "every fiber in my body hurts."
Roof did not react and appeared to show no emotion as the relatives spoke.