Church shooting victims identified: Track coach and librarian among those killed

Michael Walsh

The nation is mourning the deaths of nine people who were killed while gathered in prayer at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C.

A white gunman attended a Bible study class at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church for about an hour Wednesday night before opening fire.

RELATED: Thursday's chase for the suspect

Among the victims were a high school track coach, a librarian and a pastor.

“Any death of this sort is a tragedy. Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy,” President Barack Obama said Thursday morning. “There is something particularly heartbreaking about the death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace — in a place of worship.”

At a press briefing Thursday, Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten released the full list of names and ages of the nine victims of the church shooting: The victims included three men and six women ranging in age from 26 to 87. Here is what we know about them so far:

Clementa Pinckney

South Carolina state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the church’s pastor and a married father of two, was the first victim to be identified.

The 41-year-old pastor was leading a prayer service at the church when alleged gunman Dylann Storm Roof, 21, opened fire. Pinckney was remembered as an accomplished leader in the community.

Sharonda Coleman-Singleton

Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, a reverend at the church, was also one of the shooting victims.

The 45-year-old mother of three coached the girls’ track team at Goose Creek High School in Goose Creek, S.C.

Members of the “Gator Nation,” fans of the school’s sports teams, were invited to attend a vigil for Coleman-Singleton at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Friends, students and others expressed their condolences on the Goose Creek Gators’ Facebook page.

Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, seen here with her son, was shot and killed during a prayer service at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. (Photo: Sharonda Coleman-Singleton/Facebook)

“We love you, Coach Singleton. Gator Nation is where it is today because of your leadership. You have our thoughts and prayers,” one post reads.

Originally from Newark, N.J., Coleman-Singleton later moved to Summerville, S.C.

Since 2007, Coleman-Singleton had also been a speech-language therapist for the school district, Berkeley County Public Schools, according to her LinkedIn page.

Coleman-Singleton had a Bachelor of Arts from South Carolina State University and a Master of Arts from Montclair State University. She also studied speech-language pathology at Nova Southeastern University.

Her son, Chris, is a talented baseball player who thrived on the Gators baseball team and went on to play for Charleston Southern University.

“Something extremely terrible has happened to my mom tonight, please pray for her and my family. Pray asap,” he wrote on Twitter.

A representative from Goose Creek High School was not immediately available for comment.

Cynthia Hurd

Charleston County Public Library confirmed Thursday that one of their librarians died in the attack.

Cynthia Hurd, a manager for Charleston County Public Library, was among the victims of the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church. (Photo: Charleston County Public Library)

Cynthia Hurd, 54, the manager of St. Andrews Regional Library, was remembered as a woman who spent her life making sure residents of the local community had opportunities for personal growth and an education.

“Her loss is incomprehensible, and we ask for prayers for her family, her co-workers, her church and this entire community as we come together to face this tragic loss,” read a statement from the library.

Hurd worked with Charleston County Public Library for 31 years. Before joining St. Andrews, she was manager of the John L. Dart branch.

Sixteen Charleston County Public Library locations were closed Thursday to honor Hurd and the other victims.

Her brother, former North Carolina Sen. Malcolm Graham released a statement thanking people for their thoughts and prayers.

It is unimaginable that she would walk into church and not return, he wrote. But thats who she was — a woman of faith. This is a very difficult time for our family, and Cynthia will be sorely missed.

DePayne Middleton-Doctor

DePayne Middleton-Doctor was one of the victims of the church shooting. (Photo: DePayne Middleton/Facebook)

Former Charleston County employee DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49, was among the victims.

In a Facebook post, one of her family members, Laurie Middleton, said she will miss her beautiful personality, laughter, smile and love for all people.

“My beautiful Songbird. This is a hard one to Swallow. I will truly miss you my love,” she wrote.

She was reportedly the mother of four girls and sang in the churchs choir.

Tywanza Sanders

Allen University identified alumnus Tywanza Sanders, 26, as one of the victims, WACH reported.

The young man graduated from the school’s Division of Business Administration in 2014.

In a statement from the university, Sanders was remembered as a quiet, well known student who was committed to his education. He presented a warm and helpful spirit as he interacted with his colleagues.”

Myra Thompson

Denise Quarles confirmed to Good Morning America” that her mother, Myra Thompson, 59, had died, but declined to comment further.

The Anglican Church in North America also confirmed Thompsons death. Her husband, the Rev. Anthony Thompson, is a vicar for Holy Trinity REC.

Ethel Lee Lance

Ethel Lee Lance, 70, was a sexton who had reportedly worked at the church for more than 30 years.

Her daughter, the Rev. Sharon Rischer, confirmed to GMA that Lance died in the shooting.

“I’m lost, I’m lost,” her grandson, Jon Quil Lance, said to The Post and Courier. “Granny was the heart of the family.”

Daniel L. Simmons

Daniel L. Simmons daughter-in-law, Arcelia Simmons, confirmed to ABC News that he died in the shooting. 

Simmons was a retired pastor from another church in Charleston and attended the Emanuel AME Churchs services every Sunday and Bible study every Wednesday, she said. 

Susie Jackson

Longtime church member Susie Jackson, 87, was confirmed as the other victim. 

Her grandson, Tim Jackson, told WEWS that she was a loving person with an infectious smile.

Its real, real hard. Its challenging because I dont believe she deserved to go this way. It hurts to process,” he said.

Jackson was active in the church, serving on the usher board and singing in the choir, according to the ABC affiliate. 

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