Charleston church shooting victims' biographies

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Nine people -- three men and six women -- were shot and killed during a prayer meeting Wednesday night at Emanuel A.M.E. church in Charleston, South Carolina.

A 21-year-old from Lexington County, South Carolina was arrested Thursday in connection with the shooting.

If you would like to help after the tragedy, you can give in the following ways:

Mother Emanuel Hope Fund
The city of Charleston created the hope fund to cover funeral and burial expenses of the nine victims. Any leftover funds will go directly to Emanuel AME. Donations are not tax-deductible.

-Send a check to this address:
Mother Emanuel Hope Fund
c/o City of Charleston
Post Office Box 304
Charleston, SC 29402

-Go to any Wells Fargo Bank to make a donation.

-Text 'prayforcharleston' to 843-606-5995 or click here.

Lowcountry Ministries- Reverend Pinckney Fund
The proceeds of this fund run by the Palmetto Project will support local initiatives serving Reverend Pinckney's home church, vulnerable populations and youth projects. These donations will be tax deductible.

-Send a check to this address:
Lowcountry Ministries – Reverend Pinckney Fund
c/o The Palmetto Project
6296 Rivers Avenue #100
North Charleston, SC 29406

-Click here  to donate online.

Cynthia Hurd, 54

Cynthia Hurd is the sister of former North Carolina Sen. Malcolm Graham. She was the regional branch manager at Charleston County Public Library.

All of Charleston County’s public libraries remained closed Thursday in honor of Hurd and all of the victims of the church shooting.

Graham released the following statement on his sister:

"My sister, Ms. Cynthia Marie Graham-Hurd, was a victim of the senseless hate crime at Emanuel AME Church. It is unimaginable that she would walk into church and not return. But that's who she was - a woman of faith. This is a very difficult time for our family, and Cynthia will be sorely missed. Our family is close-knit, and our faith will see us through. I also extend condolences to the other families of Emanuel AME Church and the city of Charleston who have been affected by this inconceivable tragedy. 

"My family and I appreciate the thoughts and prayers from people across North Carolina and South Carolina."

The family is establishing a fund at Charleston County Public Library with donations going to promote educational programming at the John L. Dart Branch Library and the St. Andrews Regional Library, both are branches that Hurd managed during her 31 years with CCPL.

Donations can be sent to:

Charleston County Public Library

c/o Cynthia Graham Hurd Memorial Fund

68 Calhoun Street

Charleston, S.C. 29401

Susie Jackson, 87

Susie Jackson was the oldest victim of the church shooting.

Ethel Lee Lance, 70

Ethel Lee Lance a sexton at the church, was also killed in the shooting, ABC News reported.

DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49

The Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor worked as an admissions coordinator at the Charleston learning center of Southern Wesleyan University, CNN reported.

"Always a warm and enthusiastic leader, DePayne truly believed in the mission of SWU to help students achieve their potential by connecting faith with learning," university President Todd Voss said.

 She had four daughters, friends told CNN.

The Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41

The Rev. Clementa Pinckney was a pastor at Emaunel AME and a member of the South Carolina Senate.

He was married and the father of two children. CLICK HERE for five facts about the senator.

Tywanza Sanders, 26

The youngest victim was Tywanza Sanders, a 2014 graduate of the Division of Business Administration, according to Allen University officials.

“He was a quiet, well known student who was committed to his education. He presented a warm and helpful spirit as he interacted with his colleagues,” university officials said.

Sanders was participating in the Bible Study session at Mother Emanuel church at the time of the shooting.

The Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74

 The Rev. Daniel L. Simmons Sr. was a retired pastor from another church in Charleston, ABC News reported.

Simmons attended Emanuel AME Church every Sunday for services and Wednesdays for bible study, his daughter-in-law, Arcelia Simmons of Newport News, Virginia, said.

Simmons was the only victim who did not die at the church but in the hospital's operating room. Read more at ABC News.

The Rev. Sharonda Singleton, 45

The Rev. Sharonda Singleton was a celebrated track and field coach for Goose Creek High School and revered as a "positive light" to all who knew her, according to the South Carolina High School League.

STORY: Baseball player's pastor mom among the victims in Charleston

Myra Thompson, 59

Myra Thompson was the wife of the Rev. Anthony Thompson, vicar of Holy Trinity REC.

"She was a person who loved the Lord. Her every objective was to please him in all that she did. She was teaching Bible study when she was killed," Bishop Alphonza Gadsden told CNN.

Statement from Livingstone College: It is with a shared sense of shock and sadness that the Livingstone College Family expresses our utmost sympathy over the meaningless act of violence that resulted in the devastating loss of life and injury at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., last week. We are particularly saddened that Mrs. Myra Singleton Thompson, a former Livingstone College student, is one of the nine murdered congregants of this historic church. One of her former classmates, with whom she participated in the Livingstone College Marching Band, has called upon all Livingstonians to be in prayer for Mrs. Thompson and her family. We join the nation in a period of mourning and pledge to lift in prayer the families and members of Emanuel, as well as the citizens of Charleston, as they and we seek to cope with the horrendous disregard for human life.

We constantly remind our students here at Livingstone that life and the blessings God affords us daily are not to be taken for granted. While that may be of little solace at this time, please remember that God sees all and knows all. Likewise, please know He will help us pick up the pieces from this unspeakable act and move forward. We at Livingstone College will stand in support of Emanuel AME Church, the Thompson family, the other families who lost loved ones and the citizens of Charleston as long as it takes. Sincerely, Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., Ph.D., president