Charleston shooting: 4 000 pay respects to slain pastor

2015-06-25 10:24
A pair of women grieve while paying their respects at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. (Curtis Compton, AP)

A pair of women grieve while paying their respects at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. (Curtis Compton, AP)

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Charleston - Officials estimate that 4 000 people visited South Carolina's Capitol to pay their respects to the pastor of a historic black church in Charleston who was fatally shot along with eight parishioners.

The visitation with state Senator Clementa Pinckney's open casket under the Capitol dome was supposed to end at 17:00 on Wednesday. But hundreds were still in line, so officials let them keep coming, finally closing the doors about an hour later.

During the entire five hours, Pinckney's colleagues in the state Senate, both fellow Democrats and Republicans, stood by the coffin in shifts, meeting mourners as they walked past.

State Senator Joel Lourie arranged it so that the 41-year-old Pinckney would never be alone in his last trip to the Statehouse after serving as a page, House member and senator.

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