The shooting massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last week has galvanized much of the country, leading to a national outpouring of love and support for the community now grieving nine slain parishioners. Now, in one of the grandest gestures yet, the owner of the Carolina Panthers has decided to donate $100,000 to help the victims’ families.
In a letter shared online Saturday by South Carolina Rep. Bakari Sellers, Panthers’ owner Jerry Richardson instructed that an enclosed six-figure check should be used to “provide $10,000 per family to help defray funeral costs and other financial needs of each, and $10,000 for the church as a memorial honoring the victims.”
“Our hearts are one with those who grieve the loss of these individuals,” Richardson wrote.
Last Friday, two days after the attack, 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof was charged with nine counts of murder and one count of criminal possession of a firearm. That same day, Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley announced the creation of the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund, which — as of Monday morning — had received $176,049 to help the victims’ families.