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Charleston shooting victim's son shares message with Buffalo


It was seven years ago when a white gunman killed nine Black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C.


You might remember the name Chris Singleton. His mom was shot and killed in June of 2015, and a few days later he made national headlines for coming forward and forgiving the man responsible for her death.



Singleton was here in Buffalo on Thursday, speaking with local students, some of whom had also lost a loved one to gun violence.


His message is simple: Love over hate.


"Everybody grieves differently," Singleton said. "For me forgiveness was a huge part of the grieving process for others. Even a kid this morning is coming back to his new normal: going to school. Not having his grandma anymore, he was affected by it.


"The fact that he got to do the announcements and give his kindness message for the day, you know, stuff like that goes a long way when you went through something tragic."


He added: "As far as PTSD, time has been really, really good for me. Initially it was really being scared in certain places, and just being on alert when I felt like I didn't need to be."


Singleton also wrote a children's book, encouraging kids to accept each other and all of their differences.


Singleton will be visiting three different school districts in Texas in August.


Also on Thursday, a prayer and healing vigil was held on the grounds of the historic Michigan Street Baptist Church.


Fragrance Stanfield was at the Tops when the gunman opened fire. She survived and now has a message for everyone who witnessed what happened that day.


"Even if you weren't there, you weren't in the community, you weren't at the store," Stanfield said. "But you still witness that this happened to people in our community. And you have been spared. This did not happen in your community, in your house, or in your store, you were spared just like me."

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