Hundreds attend 1st funeral for church shooting victims

At Pastor's Viewing, Mourners Show 'Who We Are'

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Police officers stood guard and checked bags as hundreds of people filed into a church Thursday for the first funeral for victims of the massacre at a historic black church.

The increased security comes amid a heated debate over the Confederate flag and other symbols of the Confederacy around the South and elsewhere. A monument to former Confederate President Jefferson Davis had the phrase "Black Lives Matter" spray-painted on it Thursday in Richmond, Virginia, the latest of several monuments to be defaced around the country.

The first funeral was for 70-year-old Ethel Lance, a Charleston native who had been a member of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church for most of her life. Police say a gunman walked into the church during a Bible study June 17 and opened fire in a racially motived attack.

Lance served as a sexton at the church for the last five years, helping to keep the historic building clean, and she loved gospel music. She had five children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Scenes from Senator Clementa Pinckney's services:

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Sen. Clementa Pinckney funeral - Charleston, SC shooting
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Hundreds attend 1st funeral for church shooting victims
CHARLESTON, SC - JUNE 26: Mourners pay their respects at the funeral service for Sen. Clementa Pinckney at the College Charleston TD Arena for South Carolina State Sen. Clementa Pinckney who was killed during the mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church along with eight others on June 26, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. Suspected shooter Dylann Roof, 21 years old, is accused of killing nine people on June 17th during a prayer meeting in the church, which is one of the nation's oldest black churches in Charleston. (Photo by Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JUNE 26: Members of the clergy wait to enter the funeral service where U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver the eulogy for South Carolina State senator and Rev. Clementa Pinckney who was killed along with eight others in a mass shooting June 26, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. Suspected shooter Dylann Roof, 21, is accused of killing nine people on June 17th during a prayer meeting in the church, which is one of the nation's oldest black churches in Charleston. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JUNE 26: Mourners sing gospel hymns during the funeral service where U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver the eulogy for South Carolina State senator and Rev. Clementa Pinckney who was killed along with eight others in a mass shooting June 26, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. Suspected shooter Dylann Roof, 21, is accused of killing nine people on June 17th during a prayer meeting in the church, which is one of the nation's oldest black churches in Charleston. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JUNE 26: Mourners pray as thousands begin to fill the College Charleston TD Arena on June 26, 2015, in Charleston, South Carolina. President Barack Obama will deliver the eulogy for one of the victims, Sen. Clementa Pinckney, during his funeral Friday at TD Arena. Suspected shooter Dylann Roof, 21 years old, is accused of killing nine people on June 17th during a prayer meeting in the church, which is one of the nation's oldest black churches in Charleston. (Photo by Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JUNE 26: Mourners hug before the funeral begins at the College Charleston TD Arena where President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver the eulogy for South Carolina State Sen. Clementa Pinckney who was killed during the mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church along with eight others on June 26, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. Suspected shooter Dylann Roof, 21 years old, is accused of killing nine people on June 17th during a prayer meeting in the church, which is one of the nation's oldest black churches in Charleston. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
RIDGELAND, SC - JUNE 25: Visitors stand in line to pay their respects during an open viewing for Rev. Clementa Pinckney at St. John A.M.E. Church, the church Pinckney attended while growing up, June 25, 2015 in Ridgeland, South Carolina. Pinckney, who was also a state senator, was one of the nine victims killed in last week's shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
RIDGELAND, SC - JUNE 25: Visitors line up to pay their respects during an open viewing for Rev. Clementa Pinckney at St. John A.M.E. Church, the church Pinckney attended while growing up, June 25, 2015 in Ridgeland, South Carolina. Pinckney, who was also a state senator, was one of the nine victims killed in last week's shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 24: South Carolina Highway Patrol Honor Guard rehearse for the arrival of the coffin of church pastor and South Carolina State Sen. Clementa Pinckney to lie in the Statehouse Rotunda on June 24, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Pinckney was one of nine people killed during a Bible study inside Emanuel AME church in Charleston. U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to attend the funeral which is set for Friday June 26 at the TD Arena. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 24: People file past the open casket of church pastor and South Carolina State Sen. Clementa Pinckney who will lie in repose at the Statehouse Rotunda on June 24, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Pinckney was one of nine people killed during a Bible study inside Emanuel AME church in Charleston. U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to attend the funeral which is set for Friday June 26 at the TD Arena. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
RIDGELAND, SC - JUNE 25: Visitors sign a guest book before attending an open viewing for Rev. Clementa Pinckney at St. John A.M.E. Church, the church Pinckney attended while growing up, June 25, 2015 in Ridgeland, South Carolina. Pinckney, who was also a state senator, was one of the nine victims killed in last week's shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Clementa Pinckney, the South Carolina State Senator who was killed during last week's shooting at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, lies in state inside the rotunda of the capitol building Wednesday, June 24, 2015 in Columbia, S.C. (Gerry Melendez/The State/TNS via Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 24: People file past the open casket of church pastor and South Carolina State Sen. Clementa Pinckney who will lie in repose at the Statehouse Rotunda on June 24, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Pinckney was one of nine people killed during a Bible study inside Emanuel AME church in Charleston. U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to attend the funeral which is set for Friday June 26 at the TD Arena. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 24: People file past the open casket of church pastor and South Carolina State Sen. Clementa Pinckney who will lie in repose at the Statehouse Rotunda on June 24, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Pinckney was one of nine people killed during a Bible study inside Emanuel AME church in Charleston. U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to attend the funeral which is set for Friday June 26 at the TD Arena. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
A detail from South Carolina Department of Public Safety carries the casket of Sen. Clementa Pinckney into the South Carolina State House on June 24, 2015 in Columbia, S.C. (Tracy Glantz/The State/TNS via Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 24: The South Carolina Statehouse is seen as the coffin of church pastor and South Carolina State Sen. Clementa Pinckney lies in state on June 24, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Pinckney was one of nine people killed during a Bible study inside Emanuel AME church in Charleston. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 24: People wait in line to pay their respects before the coffin of church pastor and South Carolina State Sen. Clementa Pinckney arrives to lie in the Statehouse Rotunda on June 24, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Pinckney was one of nine people killed during a Bible study inside Emanuel AME church in Charleston. U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to attend the funeral which is set for Friday June 26 at the TD Arena. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 24: People wait in line to pay their respects before the coffin of church pastor and South Carolina State Sen. Clementa Pinckney arrives to lie in the Statehouse Rotunda on June 24, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Pinckney was one of nine people killed during a Bible study inside Emanuel AME church in Charleston. U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to attend the funeral which is set for Friday June 26 at the TD Arena. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 24: As lawmakers, family and friends look on, the South Carolina Highway Patrol Honor Guard carry the coffin of church pastor and South Carolina State Sen. Clementa Pinckney to lie in repose at the Statehouse Rotunda on June 24, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Pinckney was one of nine people killed during a Bible study inside Emanuel AME church in Charleston. U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to attend the funeral which is set for Friday June 26 at the TD Arena. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 24: People wait in a long line to enter the Capitol building to pay their respects to church pastor and South Carolina State Sen. Clementa Pinckney who will lie in repose at the Statehouse Rotunda on June 24, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Pinckney was one of nine people killed during a Bible study inside Emanuel AME church in Charleston. U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to attend the funeral which is set for Friday June 26 at the TD Arena. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 24: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley looks on as she stands with other lawmakers as South Carolina Highway Patrol Honor Guard prepare to carry the coffin of church pastor and South Carolina State Sen. Clementa Pinckney to lie in repose at the Statehouse Rotunda on June 24, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Pinckney was one of nine people killed during a Bible study inside Emanuel AME church in Charleston. U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to attend the funeral which is set for Friday June 26 at the TD Arena. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 24: South Carolina state legislators watch as the procession carrying the casket of Rev. Clementa Pinckney moves down Main Street before a public viewing at the South Carolina State House June 24, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Pinckney was one of nine people killed during a Bible study inside Emanuel AME church in Charleston. U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to attend the funeral which is set for Friday June 26 at the TD Arena. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Emanuel AME Church pastor and South Carolina State Sen.Clementa Pinckney's wife Jennifer (C), and two daughters Eliana and Malana, stand in a receiving line at the South Carolina State House on June 24, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Pinckney was one of nine people killed during a Bible study inside Emanuel AME church in Charleston. Pressure is growing in South Carolina to take down the Confederate flag that has flies on the front lawn of its State House in Columbia, also alongside a Confederate war memorial. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 24: The family of Rev. Clementa Pinckney greets visitors after paying their respects during an open viewing for Pinckney at the South Carolina State House June 24, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Pinckney was one of nine people killed during a Bible study inside Emanuel AME church in Charleston. U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to attend the funeral which is set for Friday June 26 at the TD Arena. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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"She can be a symbol for love," said grandson Brandon Risher, one of several grandchildren to speak. "Hate is powerful but love is more powerful."

People dabbed at their eyes with handkerchiefs and batted at the muggy air with cardboard fans handed out at the door. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Mayor Joe Riley and Gov. Nikki Haley and U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford attended.

Services for Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45, were scheduled for Thursday afternoon. She was an assistant pastor at Emanuel AME and one of the nine people slain when police say a white man opened fire during a Bible study in a racially motivated attack.

Funerals for the other victims were set to happen over the next week, including one Friday for the church pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney.

In Richmond, the Davis statue was among a number of symbols to the Confederacy that have come under fire since the mass shooting. In Memphis, Tennessee, the mayor said he thinks a statue of Confederate General and Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest should be removed from a city park and his grave, also at the park, should be relocated.

Dylann Storm Roof was captured a day after the shootings when a motorist spotted his Confederate license plate. Images on a website created in Roof's name months before the attacks show him posing with the Confederate flag and burning and desecrating the U.S. flag. He also poses at Confederate museums, former slave plantations and slave graves.

Haley started the groundswell against Confederate icons Monday by successfully calling on South Carolina lawmakers to debate taking down the Confederate battle flag flying in front of the Statehouse. Then Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, also a conservative Republican, issued an executive order that brought down four secessionist flags Wednesday. He compared the banner to the universally shunned symbols of Nazi Germany, a stunning reversal in a region where the Confederacy was formed 154 years ago and where Jefferson Davis was elected president.

Meanwhile, the Charleston magistrate who asked for sympathy for Roof's relatives was replaced. The South Carolina Supreme Court didn't give a reason for replacing Charleston County Chief Magistrate James Gosnell.

During a bond hearing on a weapons charge against suspect Dylann Roof, Gosnell expressed sympathy for Roof's families, as well as the victim's families. Gosnell's attorney didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.

Pinckney's body was in the South Carolina Statehouse on Wednesday, lying in the lobby between the House and Senate chambers. Viewings were planned in his hometown in Ridgeland Thursday afternoon and at Emanuel AME church Thursday night.

His funeral is set Friday morning at the College of Charleston, with President Obama set to deliver the eulogy.

___

Meg Kinnard in Charleston; Seanna Adcox, Jeffrey Collins, Susanne M. Schafer and Jack Jones in Columbia; Kim Chandler in Hackleburg, Alabama; Martin Swant in Montgomery, Alabama; and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.

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