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UPDATE: 5:30 PM EST

The family of accused gunman Dylann Roof released a statement regarding the AME church massacre, sending prayers to the families of the victims and adding that they request privacy in the wake of the tragedy.

————–

During a bond hearing for the South Carolina man accused of killing nine people in a storied African-American church, a judge asked the public to consider the suspect’s family when discussing the victims of the massacre.

Judge James Gosnell also referred to Dylann Roof‘s family as “victims” during the hearing, a statement many thought inappropriate given the fatal shooting that took nine of the Emanuel AME church’s members occurred just 48 hours prior.

During Roof’s hearing, for which he appeared in front of the judge via video, family members of the victims were given a chance to speak to the young man, who said nothing in return.

The overall sentiment from grieving families was one of forgiveness.

“Every fiber in my body hurts, and I’ll never be the same,” the mother of 26-year-old Tywanza Sanders told Roof.

“I forgive you,” the daughter of Ethel Vance said. “You took something very precious from me.”

Gosnell, who was not authorized to set bail for the 21-year-old’s nine murder charges, set bail at $1 million on a gun charge. Roof is expected back in court this fall.

This is a developing story.

SEE ALSO:

AME Shooting: Dylann Roof Charged With 9 Counts Of Murder, May Face Death Penalty

Tragedy In Charleston: Moment Before Church Shooting Captured On Snapchat, Gunman Planned Massacre For Months

Confederate Flag Still Flying At South Carolina Capitol After Church Massacre

Hate Crime In Charleston: 9 Dead In Shooting At Historical African American Church, Suspect In Custody

AME Shooter Left One Woman Alive To Report Tragedy, Family Of Victims Speak Out

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