Connecticut relatives of slain South Carolina churchgoers to speak on forgiveness

Federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Dylann Roof, who is accused of killing nine people at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, in July 2015. Roof is charged with 33 federal offenses, including hate crime charges for allegedly targeting his victims on the basis of their race and religion.

EASTON — A church in Connecticut is looking to learn about forgiveness from some who lost loved ones in the 2015 shooting massacre at a South Carolina church.

The Covenant Church of Easton has invited three of the victims’ relatives to speak on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 8.

The Connecticut Post reports the Easton church’s pastor, the Rev. Cary Slater, said the speakers “have a message for all of us” in light of their offer of forgiveness to the gunman.

Dylan Roof killed nine people at a bible study group at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

The speakers will include the Rev. Anthony Thompson, whose wife was killed; Rose Simmons, whose father was killed; and Polly Shepard, one of two survivors from that evening’s study group.