'Healing circle' for Charleston held at National Civil Rights Mu - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

'Healing circle' for Charleston held at National Civil Rights Museum

Healing circle outside NCRM (Source: WMC Action News 5) Healing circle outside NCRM (Source: WMC Action News 5)

People gathered outside National Civil Rights Museum on Thursday to participate in a healing circle after a shooting at a historically African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina.

"I truly believe it was a hate crime," Minister Dwight Montgomery said.

Montgomery is the president of Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He was just one of several people who went to civil rights museum to mourn.

"This should not happen in 2015, in a church," said one of the members of the healing circle.

"This is heinous, about as heinous as it can get," said Tami Sawyer, who organized the healing circle as a way for members of the community to not feel lonely.

Reverend Keith Norman, president of the Memphis chapter of NAACP, said not only should those grieving take time to express their emotions, but it's important to not let this crime create more hate.

"Talk about it, grieve, have pain, and have anger, but also begin the healing process," Norman said.

U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the shooting, looking into the possibility that it was a hate crime.

Investigators say Dylann Roof sat in the church for hours before shooting and killing nine people.

"He chose to go into an African-American church and kill people," Montgomery said.

SCLC was founded by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It's designed to fight for peace, and Montgomery said Wednesday's shooting proves the continued need for Dr. King's message.

"Peace and respecting one another, that is a message that needs to be embedded in people."

Roof is in custody and expected to have a bond hearing Friday.

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