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Hundreds mourn Charleston shooting victims

Brandon Risher Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ethel Lance's grandson Brandon Risher touches his grandmother's casket

The first of the funerals for victims of the Charleston church shooting have been held in the South Carolina city.

The services for Ethel Lee Lance took place after a viewing at a Baptist church in North Charleston.

Ms Lance, 70, worked for the church for 30 years and was a mother of five.

The funeral for Sharonda-Coleman Singleton, 45 took place at another Baptist church. She was a speech therapist, pastor and high school track coach, as well as a mother of three.

Their funerals were the first two of nine, with five more to take place on Friday and Saturday. The families of two of those who died have not yet released details.

The nine worshippers were shot dead at a bible study group at an African-American church last week.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Ethel Lance worked for the church for 30 years

Reverend Jesse Jackson, Mayor of Charleston Joe Riley and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and US representative Mark Sanford were in attendance at Lance's funeral.

"She can be a symbol for love," said Lance's grandson Brandon Risher. "Hate is powerful but love is more powerful."

Security was high at the funeral, with police standing guard and checking bags as hundreds of people filed in.

Members of Mother Emanuel church stood and said: "Sister Lance, we are here! Mother Emanuel, we are here!"

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Reverend Jesse Jackson and Reverend Al Sharpton were present at Ethel Lance's funeral
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Funeral attendees released doves at Lance's funeral

At Singleton's funeral, hundreds of mourners filed past the casket at Mt Moriah Missionary Baptist Church. Police officers surrounded the church and surrounding roads.

On Friday, President Barack Obama will give the eulogy at a service for Rev Clementa Pinckney, 41, who was the pastor at the Emanuel AME church. Vice-President Joe Biden will also attend the service.

Both Mr Obama and Mr Biden were friends of Mr Pinckney, who was also a state senator in South Carolina.

His remains were taken to South Carolina's State House in Columbia on Wednesday, where his coffin will lie in state until Friday's service.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Clementa Pinckney's remains were carried by horse drawn carriage to government buildings
Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Sharonda Coleman-Singleton and her son Chris

Footage emerged on Tuesday of suspect Dylann Roof being arrested by police officers in Charleston. He appeared to surrender without incident.

Mr Roof has been charged with the murder of those who died at the Emanuel AME church.

The victims

Image caption Left to right top: Cynthia Hurd, Clementa Pinckney, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Tywanza Sanders. Left to right bottom: Ethel Lance, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Susie Jackson, Daniel Simmons Sr
  • Cynthia Hurd, 54
  • Rev Clementa Pinckney, 41
  • Rev Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45
  • Tywanza Sanders, 26
  • Ethel Lance, 70
  • Rev Depayne Middleton-Doctor, 49
  • Susie Jackson, 87
  • Rev Daniel Simmons Sr, 74
  • Myra Thompson, 59

Charleston pays tribute to victims

The victims of the Charleston shooting

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