Gov Haley Holds Back Tears: ‘Today the Heart and Soul of South Carolina Was Broken’

Thursday at a press conference about the capture of the Charleston church shooting suspect, Dylann Storm Roof, Gov.bNikki Haley (R-SC) held back tears as her voice cracked and she said, “We woke up today and the heart and soul of South Carolina was broken.”

Haley said, “Thank you, Mr. Mayor. I want to certainly thank the mayor. he’s always had great leadership but during times of struggle, he steps up even more, continues to make Charleston proud. I continue to appreciate your friendship and your partnership. I want to personally thank Bishop Norris with the AME church family. I spoke with him this morning and even though he is in recovery, he very much is in prayer and in leadership and the fact that he has asked that we all come together for prayer vigil today at noon. You will see all of us go to do that. But we woke up today and the heart and soul of South Carolina was broken. And so we have some grieving to do, and we’ve got some pain we have to go through. Parents are having to explain to their kids how they can go to church and feel safe, and that’s not something we thought we would ever deal with.”

“Having said that, we are a strong and faithful state. We love our state. We love our country. Most importantly we love each other. And I will tell you there’s a lot of prayer in this state. So you are going to see all of us trying to lift these fine families up in prayer because they need us. These nine families need us. The Emanuel AME church needs us. The AME church family needs us. And the people of South Carolina need us to come together and be strong for what has happened.”

“I want you to know the outpouring of emotion from across this country has been overwhelming, from presidential candidates to citizens who have just traveled through the state, to any person in any walk of life. Every single person has had to put their feet in the shoes of one of those nine families today, and they all know what that felt like. And so with that, where do we go from here? We allow ourselves to grieve. We allow ourselves to pray. We allow ourselves to question why this happens, and then we allow ourselves to heal. And so the healing process will start.”

“We are so thankful to Chief Mullen and his team and law enforcement with SLED, with FBI, with everybody that came together that refused to allow this to happen. I have never seen — when we were going through the command center — such passion and personal willingness to want to make sure they brought this person home. And so I want to personally thank the law enforcement community because you have now allowed us to start healing. And we can now tell our children that that person is in custody and we can now not only lift up our law enforcement community who hasn’t slept since this happened, but thank them and give them the credit that they deserve and the courage they deserve. But I want to remind everybody, South Carolina has stepped up today in a way that continues to make me proud. We are seeing love. We’re seeing prayers. We’re seeing support. We’re seeing humility. And for that, I want to tell you that I’m thankful. We will continue to be on stand by for all of the people, all of the leaders that you see here behind us are willing to do anything and everything for the families in need and for the church in need. But for that, I will tell you it is a very, very sad day in South Carolina. But it is a day that we will get through It is a day that we will remember.  It is a day that will allow us to get stronger.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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