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Charleston, S.C., chuch shooting victims include church leaders and state senator

06/18/2015 12:56 EDT | Updated 06/18/2016 05:59 EDT
The victims of a Wednesday night shooting at a Charleston, S.C., church include six women and three men, ranging in age from 26 to 87 years old, the local coroner said this afternoon. 

Among the victims was Clementa Pinckney, the beloved 41-year-old pastor at Emanuel AME Church, commonly called Mother Emanuel, where the shooting occurred. 

The other victims were:

- Tywanza Sanders, 26.

- Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45.

- DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49.

- Cynthia Hurd, 54.

- Myra Thompson, 59. 

- Ethel Lee Lance, 70.

- Daniel Simmons, 74.

- Susie Jackson, 87.

Here's what CBC News has learned so far about the victims:

Clementa Pinckney

Pinckney was a 19-year state legislator. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and two children, Eliana and Malana.

Just one year after graduating from Allen University in 1995, Pinckney became, at 23, the youngest African-American elected to the South Carolina Legislature. In 2000, he was elected to the state Senate.

- PHOTOS | Charleston black church shooting leaves 9 dead

"He never had anything bad to say about anybody, even when I thought he should," state house minority leader Todd Rutherford told The Associated Press.

"He was always out doing work either for his parishioners or his constituents. He touched everybody."

A native of Beaufort, S.C., Pinckney began preaching at the age of 13 and was first appointed pastor at 18. He was named pastor of Emanuel AME Church in 2010, according to the state Democratic Party.

"What stood out more than his big frame and booming voice was his astronomical heart he had for his fellow man," said Senate minority leader Nikki Setzler.

Cynthia Hurd

Hurd was the regional manager of St. Andrews Library in Charleston, where she had served in various capacities for nearly 31 years before her death.

City officials said at a news conference Thursday afternoon that the branch would be renamed the Cynthia Hurd Regional Library in her honour.

"Cynthia was a tireless servant of the community who spent her life helping residents, making sure they had every opportunity for an education and personal growth," the library posted on Facebook.

All 16 locations of the Charleston County Public Library system were closed Thursday "to honour our co-worker and all those lost," the post said.

According to a statement released by her brother, former North Carolina senator Malcolm Graham, Hurd would have turned 55 on Sunday.

"It is unimaginable that she would walk into a church and not return," Graham said.

Sharonda Coleman-Singleton

Listed as a reverend on the Emanuel AME website, Coleman-Singleton was also a speech therapist at Goose Creek High School in Berkeley County, S.C., and head coach of the girl's track team.

"We love you, coach Singleton," said the school in a Facebook post. "Gator Nation is where it is today because of your leadership. You have our thoughts and prayers."

Coleman-Singleton's son, Chris Singleton, is a "rising sophomore" at Charleston Southern University and a member of the baseball team.

"Chris's mother was just that parent that as a coach you are proud to have as part of your program. What she brought to our team is immeasurable," said baseball head coach Stuart Lake in a statement released by the university.

DePayne Middleton-Doctor

Middleton-Doctor was an employee of Charleston County until 2005.

She was the director of the Community Development Block Grant, an outreach program that helps the county's poorest residents maintain their homes and neighbourhood hubs.

A mother of four daughters, she was also a minister and sang in the choir at Emanuel AME, the Post and Courier newspaper reported.

Tywanza Sanders

The youngest of the victims at 26, Sanders was a graduate of the business program at Allen University.

"He was a quiet, well known student who was committed to his education," Flavia Eldemire, an administrator at Allen University, told Buzzfeed News in a statement.

Myra Thompson

Thompson was married to the reverend of Holy Trinity REC Church in Charleston. The congregation asked for prayers for the family in a Twitter post.

Ethel Lee Lance

Lance had worked at Emanuel AME for more than 30 years, her family told the Post and Courier.

Daniel Simmons

A pastor, Simmons was the only victim who was not pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Charleston County coroner. He was taken to hospital alive, where he died in the operating room.

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