South Los Angeles' First AME Church honors Charleston shooting victims in Sunday service

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The shots that killed nine people were fired 2,500 miles away, but the impact was deeply felt by parishioners belonging to the sister church of where the shooting took place. (KABC)

The names of the victims in the Charleston shooting were read aloud Sunday at First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles. Nine candles were lit in their honor.

The shots that killed nine people were fired 2,500 miles away, but the impact was deeply felt by parishioners belonging to the sister church of where the shooting took place.

"It could have been this church. Believe it or not, people of faith and members of certain communities... that does not protect you from evil," parishioner James Parker said.

City leaders also attended Sunday's service, recognizing that this church historically has been a place of healing during trying times.

"We need to demonstrate that the power of dignity and humanity and the courage that we've seen in the aftermath of the shooting is the message, not the hate," Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said.

The shooting in Charleston had many parishioners reflecting on issues like gun violence and racism, issues they say that will not be solved through indifference but through understanding.

"We must forgive. It's hard. It's very hard to forgive, but we were taught we must forgive," parishioner Hattie Hicks said.

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