Virgin Islands Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett issued the following statement in response to the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina:
“It is with a heavy heart that I offer my condolences to the family and friends of the nine souls whose lives were cut short by an individual who appears to be fueled by great hate as they attended bible study on Wednesday evening in Charleston, South Carolina. That such violence and hate should happen in a place of refuge and peace; a place that welcomed the suspect to enjoy their place of worship is devastating. The outpouring of love and support by the natives of Charleston and the United States of all races and ethnicities shows that, in the midst of such tragedy, our country continues to have hope.
The day before this tragedy, our country installed an African American woman as Attorney General, nominated by an African American President, and sworn in by a Latina Supreme Court Justice. I must believe that this tragedy will make us stronger as an American family.
The Virgin Island community shares a unique bond with the Emanuel African Methodist Church and its congregation, as one of its founders, Denmark Vessey, was born into slavery in the Virgin Islands before buying his freedom, settling in Charleston, South Carolina and leading one of the first major slave revolts in the United States. The Virgin islands community is praying for the family and friends of the victims, the congregation of 'Mother Emanuel' Church, indeed the family of the suspect, and the entire Charleston community,” Plaskett said