Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Thursday morning said there were “no words strong enough to condemn” a mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Authorities on Thursday morning were searching for a white man in his 20s who opened fire Wednesday night in Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston, killing nine people.
CNN’s “New Day” anchor Chris Cuomo pointed out that authorities were investigating the mass shooting as a hate crime. He then asked Jindal whether he considered the killer’s targeting of black churchgoers as an act of terror.
“I don’t think we have words strong enough to describe how evil this is,” Jindal responded. “Whatever words you want to put on to it. This man went into — from what we’ve heard, he goes into a church, sits there for an hour like you said, kills nine people and then says to some of the survivors ‘I’m letting you live so you can go tell people what I’ve done.'”
“In my mind, look, there are no words strong enough to condemn that,” he continued. “Evil, terror, whatever we want to call it. This is horrific. It’s almost unimaginable.”
Jindal also echoed former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) in stating that “we’ll never really understand what was going on in [the killer’s] mind.”
“There can be no understanding or trying to explain away this kind of evil behavior,” he said. “When they catch him, let’s see what he says. Let’s see if he’s got writings. Let’s see if he’s posted things online. But at the root of this, this is evil.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.