Shooting victims included librarian and recent college grad

One was a longtime librarian looking forward to retirement. Another had recently graduated from college with a business degree. At least two died in the church that they had attended for decades.

A closer look at some of the nine lives that were cut short by the gunman who opened fire in a black church in downtown Charleston:

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Image of Susie Jackson from Michael Skolnik via Twitter

SUSIE JACKSON

Susie Jackson, 87, was a longtime church member and sang in the choir. She and Ethel Lance were cousins. Jackson had recently visited her son and grandchildren in Cleveland, Ohio.

Tim Jackson told Cleveland television station WEWS that his grandmother was a loving, giving woman with a great smile.

CLEMENTA PINCKNEY

Clementa Pinckney, 41, was the beloved pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the country’s oldest black churches, and had been a state legislator for 19 years.

Just one year after graduating from Allen University in 1995, Pinckney became, at 23, the youngest African-American elected to the South Carolina Legislature. In 2000, he was elected to the state Senate.

He earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Carolina in 1999 and studied at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.

A native of Beaufort, Pinckney began preaching at age 13 and was first appointed pastor at 18. He was named pastor of Mother Emanuel AME Church in 2010, according to the state Democratic Party.

“He had a core not many of us have,” said Sen. Vincent Sheheen, who sat beside him in Senate chambers. “I think of the irony that the most gentle of the 46 of us — the best of the 46 of us in this chamber — is the one who lost his life.”

He is survived by his wife and two children.

CYNTHIA HURD
Cynthia Hurd’s brother took some comfort in knowing that his sister died in the church she grew up in and loved.Hurd, 54, was the manager of one of the busiest branches of the Charleston County library system. In her honor, the system closed all 16 of its branches Thursday, the day after her death.She grew up in Charleston, and her mother made sure they went Emanuel AME Church on Sundays, Wednesdays and any other time it was open, said her brother Malcom Graham, a former state senator from North Carolina.”I wasn’t surprised on a Wednesday night she was there,” Graham said Thursday.Hurd’s husband is a merchant sailor currently at sea near Saudi Arabia. Graham was trying to help him get home.

When Graham spoke to his sister last weekend, she said she couldn’t wait for her 55th birthday on Sunday, he said.

She was also looking toward retirement after 31 years of library work. The library issued a statement remembering Hurd as “a tireless servant of the community who spent her life helping residents, making sure they had every opportunity for an education and personal growth.”

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