The older sister of Dylann Roof, the man accused of killing nine people in a Charleston church last month, was seeking a “fresh start.” So she tried raising money online to cover her wedding and honeymoon expenses.
Amber Roof’s wedding to Michael Tyo was scheduled for June 21 in Charleston; but four days earlier, authorities say, Roof’s brother entered Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and committed a racially motivated massacre.
“As many of you know Michael and I had to abruptly cancel our wedding day, due to the tragedy that occurred in Charleston,” Roof wrote on her since-removed GoFundMe page. “It was suppose [sic] 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.”
The creator of the page was listed as Amber Roof of Shelby, N.C. GoFundMe confirmed to The Washington Post that Amber Roof created the campaign before removing it on Thursday afternoon after it began to generate media coverage. The Post & Courier reported that an attempt to reach Roof by phone was unsuccessful.
In the GoFundMe post, Roof blamed the media for abusing her privacy and publishing information about her wedding.
“We cancelled our wedding to protect our family and mourn the lives of those lost,” she wrote. “Many friends and family members came into town and took time off of work to be there for us. We could not ask you to do that again.”
Instead, Roof said that she and Tyo are seeking donations to cover lost wedding costs, pay bills and finance a honeymoon. “We would like the chance to start our lives on a postive [sic] note,” the post said.
The couple said it planned to give 10 percent of all donations to the Emanuel AME church.
The post was signed: “Love, The Tyo’s.”
More than thirty people donated, raising more than $1,600 of the $5,000 goal before the campaign was removed.
One donation was made under the name “American BlackLivesMatter.”
“Here’s $9 for the Nine Victims of the Charleston, SC, Church Massacre,” it said.
Many others posted negative comments on the page as well. Those comments were apparently being deleted before the page came down.
“You have a lot of nerve asking people to finance your wedding while your brother is sitting in jail, and nine people are dead,” wrote one commenter.
Another added: “Look I’m sorry your brother screwed up your wedding plans, however I’m way more concerned about the people who lost there [sic] loved ones,” another added. “They are trying to afford to bury the people they loved due to the stupidity of your brother.”
Others donated and posted messages of sympathy:
“Me and my partner finally have the opportunity to legally get married after dating for 5 years,” one person wrote. “I can not imagine how upsetting this would be. Please accept my small donation as a token of my support.”
Another supporter noted that she also had a “selfish brother” who ruined “a few of my special days.”
“A situation like this could have easily been me since my brother has threatened to kill my father on several occasions,” she added. “I hope you can overcome the actions of your brother and know they don’t reflect on you.”
This post has been updated.