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Charleston church shootings, Sen. Pinckney and the Emanuel Nine: A look back

That Thursday morning was somber after the fatal shootings the night before at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. The community was in mourning.

But Jasper County gathered together to remember slain Sen. Clementa Pinckney, who rose from Jasper County High School to the Statehouse in Columbia.

Pinckney was one of nine people killed June 17, 2015. The shootings shocked the county and the country.

The Jasper County Sun Times was able to tell the story in Jasper thanks to the gracious people in the community.

Friends and former classmates and teachers reflected on Pinckney from his time as a young boy who grew up off Bees Creek Road to the man who reached the state’s capitol.

We were there for both vigils at Turpin Park in Ridgeland. About 30 people prayed and spoke about Pinckney in the afternoon and that evening more than 100 people gathered for a candlelight vigil.

We also continued our coverage by attending Pinckney’s funeral in Ridgeland and on June 26, Jasper County Sun Times editor Anthony Garzilli traveled on a bus with community members to Charleston for the funeral at College of Charleston’s TD Arena.

Through video and a subsequent story, we captured the overall feeling of goodwill and harmony inside the arena and detailed President Barack Obama’s eloquent speech.

We all were saddened and stunned by the events in Charleston, but we were also heartened to see how the county rallied around each other.

To honor Sen. Pinckney, the Jasper County Sun Times offers readers a chance to look back on his life and the tributes that were given. In this special section there are links to our stories and images of our coverage. The section can also be accessed through the sections category on our site.

Pinckney’s death shook Jasper, but his stature in the community will not be forgotten.

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