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The South Carolina Republican lawmaker who suggested the Mother Emanuel AME victims didn’t defend themselves during an attack by accused gunman Dylann Roof is now backtracking on his insensitive statements.

State Rep. Bill Chumley said the nine victims “waited their turn to be shot” during a Tuesday interview. Via CNN:

“We need to be focusing on the nine families that are left and see that this doesn’t happen again,” Chumley told the news outlet. “These people sat in there and waited their turn to be shot. That’s sad that somebody in there with the means of self-defense could have stopped this.”

When asked by CNN’s Drew Griffin, “Are you turning this into a gun debate?” Chumley replied, “You said guns. Why didn’t somebody just do something? I mean, you got one skinny person shooting a gun. I mean, we need to take and do what you can.”

“They Waited Their Turn To Be Shot:” South Carolina Lawmaker Blames AME Victims For Number Of Dead  was originally published on