South Carolina state Sen. Larry Grooms (R) on Thursday morning called on police to catch the “jackass” who shot and killed his friend and colleague, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney (D), along with eight others during a Bible study at a historic black church on Wednesday night in Charleston.
“He was my colleague but he was also my brother in Christ, and the news of his death and the deaths of the others, made me physically ill,” Grooms, who served with Pinckney for 15 years, told television station WCBD.
Pinckney was also the pastor of the church.
“There is evil in this world, and it’s not in some faraway place, a faraway land that we see on television and go, ‘oh that’s horrible’ — this affects our community, it affects our state, and for some of us, it affects us personally,” he said.
The shooter, who according to police sat with the victims for an hour before opening fire, was still at large on Thursday morning.
“The first thing we do, we’ve got to find this jackass and bring him to justice,” Grooms said. “It’s evil. He is evil.”
Charleston police were coordinating with the FBI and urging the public to view photos of him and his car and notify law enforcement of any sighting.