Charleston shooting church to bless families and survivors with $1.5m

A cross bearing notes of condolence is pictured outside of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, June 21, 2015Reuters

The Charleston church where a tragic mass shooting took place earlier this year is reaching out to the victims and their families.

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church, known as Mother Emanuel AME, was thrust into the world's spotlight by a massacre in June. Gunman Dylann Roof killed nine people during the attack as well as injuring five others.

The church now says that it's going to share at least half of the money donated to it with the victims' families as well as the survivors. Around 3.4 million dollars has been donated to the church in the wake of the killings. Around 1.5 million of that will be given to the survivors and those mourning their loved ones.

The rest of the money will be spent by the church. It plans to use that money to fund a memorial to those killed as well as scholarships and community outreach programmes.

Rev Norvel Goff, interim pastor of Emanuel AME said, "The church, in its benevolence has made what we feel is a tremendous gift out of honor to the victims' families and the survivors, too. We continue the healing process, but this marks a passage in that healing."

Roof is charged with nine counts of murder and is awaiting a death penalty trial next summer. He also is charged with hate crimes in federal court.

Meanwhile, the church has been a model of grace in its response to the shootings. Members spoke of their forgiveness to Roof in the days after the horrific attack.