Wednesday's attack at a South Carolina church that left nine black people dead quickly triggered a bipartisan outpouring of emotional responses and prayers from the likely 2016 presidential candidates.
While most said their prayers were with the victims and their families, some went out of their way to denounce what they saw as the root cause of the violence.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said the fatal attack was a "tragic reminder of the ugly stain of racism." Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said the incident was proof that "there’s a sickness in our country." And Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said there weren't "words strong enough to describe how evil this is."
The mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. rocked the nation.
The suspected gunman, a white man identified by authorities as Dylann Roof, was captured Thursday. The shooting was reportedly being investigated as a hate crime and one woman, whom the gunman allowed to live so that she could recount the killings, said he had made racial comments.
According to a relative of one of the victims, the woman who'd survived the attack said the gunman couldn't be talked down and had said: "I have to do it. ... You rape our women and you’re taking over our country and you have to go."
Among those killed in the tragedy was South Carolina state Sen. Clementa Pinckney (D), a reverend at the church.
Below are emotional and colorful responses to the shooting in Charleston.
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