The sister of the man accused of killing nine people at Emanuel AME Church raised nearly $1,700 to pay for her postponed wedding and honeymoon before pulling the plug on her online funding campaign Thursday amid a swarm of media attention.
Amber Roof started a GoFundMe page this week, asking for $5,000 to “cover lost wedding costs, to pay bills, and to send us on our dream honeymoon.” She pledged to donate 10 percent of the money raised to Emanuel AME Church.
She and her fiance were to be married June 21, four days after her brother, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, allegedly gunned down nine worshippers attending a Bible study at the historic black church in an attempt to start a race war. He is being held without bail in the Charleston County jail and faces nine counts of murder.
After The Post and Courier reported on the fundraising page Thursday morning, media outlets across the country picked up the story and debate over her endeavor exploded on social media. Around 1:30 p.m. the page suddenly disappeared. GoFundMe said Roof took it down. She could not be reached for comment.
On the page, Amber Roof had said her wedding was supposed to be “the day every girl dreams of,” with the perfect venue and vows ready to be read.
“It was suppose to start our lives together with our new family. Our day was the exact opposite. Our wedding day was full of sorrow, pain, and shame, tainted by the actions of one man,” she stated. “The Charleston Massacre took place and our lives were forever changed. The media abused our privacy and published all of our wedding information and destroyed our dream day. Destroying the first day of Michael and my life together.”
Roof stated that she and her fiance canceled the wedding “to protect our family and mourn the lives of those lost” but they now want another chance at happiness.
“We would like the chance to start our lives on a positive note,” she stated. “Therefore, we have decided to start a Go Fund Me account. We know money cannot replace the wedding we lost and our perfect day, however it will help us to create new memories and a new start with our new family.”
Though several people contributed money, the page also attracted some harsh comments by people appalled by her appeal.
“This has to be the most self-centered and insensitive fundraising page I’ve ever encountered and I’m shocked that gofundme hasn’t erased you from their existence already!” one woman posted. “I can’t imagine the anguish and sorrow that your own brother has inflicted on so many wonderful and kind people and all the while, you are fantasizing about letting others fund your honeymoon!!”
“THE NERVE OF YOU!!!” another commenter said. “If its just about getting married then go to the court house. But how dare u set up a gofundme under these circumstances.”