South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) on Friday morning said that, following the deadly shooting at a Charleston church on Wednesday, the state should focus on the suspect, not gun laws.
NBC’s Savannah Guthrie asked Haley whether the attack should prompt changes to gun laws in the state.
“Any time there’s a traumatic situation, people want something to blame. They always want something to go after,” Haley responded on “The Today Show.” “There is one person to blame here, a person filled with hate, a person that does not define South Carolina, and we are going to focus on that one person.”
Authorities on Thursday arrested 21-year-old Dylann Roof, who is suspected of opening fire in a historic black church in Charleston on Wednesday, killing nine people.
President Obama on Thursday lamented that the shooter “had no trouble getting their hands on a gun” and called for Americans to “shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.”
Haley on Friday morning described the attack as a hate crime and called for the death penalty in the shooting.
“We will absolutely will want him to have the death penalty,” Haley said. “This is the worst hate that I’ve seen and that the country has seen in a long time. We will fight this, and we will fight this as long as we can.”
Watch her interview, courtesy of “The Today Show.”