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Local AME Churches pray for victims of Charleston shooting

Posted at 11:41 PM, Jun 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-18 23:42:08-04

Portsmouth, Va. - "It could've been us." That's what people who attend Emanuel AME Church say about Wednesday night's shooting in Charleston. On Thursday night, they held a prayer service in support of the nine victims.

The Portsmouth church that shares a name with the Charleston one, also has Bible study on Wednesday and even looks similar. "I don't know what to say, but it could've been us. I thank God. He spared us," said Ruby Greer, who attended the service.

About 25 people prayed, sang, and at times cried about the six women and three men killed in a place of worship. "This is a tragedy and we just need to band together and let the whole world know this is unacceptable," said Lorraine Donald-Ebbs.

Those at the service say there's no explanation for what happened, but say they trust in their faith to get them through it. "We're not perfect people. God knows that and these are some of the consequences of that," said Katie Flythe. "We just have to deal with it and support one another."

Related: 

Charleston church shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof arrested in North Carolina

Charleston victims: 9 lives lost to family and community

Charleston victims: A pastor who heard the call at 13; a young man with promise

Reports: Shooting reported at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston; multiple fatalities