MARLON KIMPSON, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE SENATOR: Well, he was a giant legend. He was the moral compass of the state senate.
When we would have difficult times and would be at an impasse discussing major pieces of legislation, it was Senator Pinckney who brought a sense of calmness to the body, so that we could collectively negotiate towards a successful end.
We are currently ligating the budget, so both the house and the senate was in session. But before the meeting ended, he indicated to me that he had a very important church meeting to attend in Charleston.
So I was aware he was at a meeting in Charleston, which is about two hours away from the State capitol, and not in Columbia at the time of the shooting.
When I learned around 9:30 from... the chair of the county council, I immediately called Senator Pinckney but there was no answer.
When I eventually made it over to the victims' assistance center at the Embassy Suites, I did have a brief conversation with his wife and his two daughters. And we are asking the nation for prayer for the city of Charleston and for all the victims of this horrific tragedy.