Friday, June 19, 2015

Shooting victims’ families forgive gunman in court

Nadine Collier (L) is the daughter of church shooting victim Ethel Lance. Photo: Getty

By Bob Fredericks at the New York Post

Hate won’t win.

In a heartwrenching display of strength and mercy Friday, relatives of the men and women massacred at a black church in South Carolina told the racist madman who murdered their loved ones that they forgave him.

“Although my grandfather and the other victims died at the hands of hate, this is proof — everyone’s plea for your soul — that they lived in love and their legacies will live in love. So hate won’t win, and I just want to thank the courts for making sure that hate isn’t winning,” said a granddaughter of retired pastor Daniel Simmons, 74.

“I just want everybody to know, to you, I forgive you,” said Nadine Collier, a daughter of victim Ethel Lance, 70.

“You took something very precious away from me. I will never talk to her ever again, I will never be able to hold her again. But I forgive you. And have mercy on your soul. You hurt me, you hurt a lot of people. But God forgives you, and I forgive you.”

Outside court, she added, “She’s in a better place now, and we’re all trying to get there. But God knows the Lance family.”

Admitted killer Dylann Storm Roof, 21, who appeared in the Charleston County courtroom on video, stood expressionless in light blue prison garb as she and several other family members spoke of their pain and loss, but also of love and forgiveness.

“I would just like you to know that, I forgive you and my family forgives you. But we would like you to take this opportunity to repent. Repent, confess, give your life to the one that matters the most — Christ — so he can change it, change your ways no matter what happened to you. Do that and you’ll be better off than you are right now,” said Anthony Thompson, son of victim Myra Thompson, 59... (continued)


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