The Charleston Church Shooting: A Horrible Week
It has been a rough week.
It began on a high note, reuniting with some work friends at an annual work conference in Alabama. It was great to see in person so many of the people I talk to on the phone and exchange emails with throughout the year and learn more from each other.
I’m not big on travel, but this is a trip I don’t mind making.
Unfortunately, midway through the four-day event, I apparently decided it’d be fun to add a ridiculous cold and mild upper-respiratory infection to the mix. So by the time the conference was over, I was already exhausted from attempts — I’m happy to report they were unsuccessful attempts — to cough up a lung.
But on the way back, while I had about 20 minutes between flights in Atlanta on Wednesday night, I switched my phone out of “airplane mode” and saw that I’d received an urgent message from one of my producers at the television station. And then I began seeing emails about a shooting in downtown Charleston. My producer was working late, trying to stay on top of details that were still unclear and trickling into the newsroom.
By the time my second flight landed, the picture was much more clear: nine people had died after being shot inside a church.
By the following morning, we had surveillance photos. Then a name. Then, news the suspect had been arrested. After another 24 hours or so, we learned his name had been linked to a “manifesto,” which is never a good thing, and that he had allegedly been out to start some sort of race war. (Did he think race relations were running smoothly up until then?)
I’ve been very impressed with the way the Holy City has lived up to its nickname so far. I think Charleston has shown the world an amazing level of grace in heartbreak. I hope we all can remember this lesson.