Five Year Old Played Dead As Charleston Killer Opened Fire On Churchgoers

Kaitlan Collins Contributor
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When Dylann Roof walked into a historically black church in South Carolina and opened fire Wednesday night, he killed eight people, and the ninth died at the hospital.

But a five year old girl lived because her grandmother told her to play dead.

Though her name has not been released, the little girl is recovering at a nearby hospital after the shooting at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, her family members said.

South Carolina shooting

Charleston shooter Dylann Roof. (Photo: Getty Images)

Roof also didn’t shoot Sylvia Johnson so she could “tell the world what happened” inside the church.

Johnson said she and others tried to convince Roof to stop shooting.

“He just said: ‘I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go,'” Johnson said.

South Carolina shooting

(Photo: Getty Images)

Among the dead are Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was a state senator for South Carolina; Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, a high school track coach and mother of three; Cynthia Hurd, a librarian for Charleston County Public Library; Tywanza Sanders, a 2014 graduate of Allen University in Columbia; Myra Thompson, the wife of a reverend who was at a nearby church at the time of the shooting; Ethel Lee Lance, a sexton who had worked at the church for more than 30 years; Daniel L. Simmons, another church staff member.

South Carolina shooting

(Photo: Getty Images)

Not all of the victims have been identified. (RELATED: Here’s What We Know About The Charleston Shooting)