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Family members of those killed in the Charleston Church massacre spoke to the accused gunman via video chat on Friday afternoon with heavy hearts.

During the emotional bond hearing, many of the loved ones representing the victims told 21-year-old, Dylann Roof that despite their sorrow and pain, they still forgive him.

“I forgive you … I will never talk to her ever again. I will never hold her again, but I forgive you,” the daughter of victim, Ethel Lance said.

The mother of Tywanza Sanders, who watched her son die, said while on the stand, “We welcomed you Wednesday night to our bible study with open arms. Every fiber in my body hurts and I’ll never be the same. Sanders was my son … May God have mercy on you.”

The family member of MyraThompson said, “Me and my family forgive you … take this opportunity to repent.”

The granddaughter of victim, Daniel Simmons said, “Although my grandfather and the other victims died …this is proof that everyones plea for is proof that they lived and loved and their legacy will live and live. Hate won’t win.”

While the family representatives spoke words of forgiveness, Roof had a blank stare on his face, showing no emotion.

Roof is being tried on 9 counts of murder and 1 count of possession of a weapon during time of the crime. His bond for possession of a weapon has been set at $1 million.

Roof is expected back in court on October 23, 2015.

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Exclusive: The Bullet Scars That Will Forever Haunt Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Son, Etienne Maurice



Sheryl Lee Ralph shared a graphic photo on Instagram earlier this week of her son, Etienne Maurice, laying in a hospital bed bandaged up from bullet wounds. The purpose of the image was to be yet another voice calling to end gun violence.

On Wednesday, students across the country walked out of class to protest against gun violence, something that hit home for Ralph four years ago. “This mother wants #gunreform now! #guncontrol now,” she wrote.

It was during a night out in West Philadelphia that Ralph’s then 22-year-old child was robbed at gunpoint and shot three times; twice in the leg and one which grazed his forehead.

So as Ralph joined Wednesday’s national conversation about gun laws, HipHollywood talked exclusively with Etienne who shared exactly what went down the night a gun could have taken his life for good.

“I was shot four years ago, November 9 … I was black out drunk. The next thing I know I remember I woke up in the hospital, doctor said I had two bullet holes in my leg and a grazed bullet hole above my eyebrow.”

Maurice, who was robbed for his iPhone and his wallet, went on to tell us that this is something that he is reminded of constantly. “Having been shot is something that I carry with me every day. I still have numbness at the bottom of my leg from the nerve damage.”

And while he will always remember how he felt knowing his life almost ended, Etienne had a hard time fathoming how his famous mother felt. “We had the conversation about it last week and she said she peed on herself,” he told us.

For Maurice, he’s proud to see young children use their voices to make change. “There’s so many angles where we can talk about gun violence and how it’s effecting different communities,” he said. “Gun reform needs to take place now.”

Since that night, he hasn’t picked up a drink and has been now sober for four years. As for the suspects, a father-son duo, they are behind bars for attempted man slaughter.

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