CHARLESTON, S.C. — They forgave him. They advised him to repent for his sins, and asked for God’s mercy on his soul. One even told Dylann Storm Roof to repent and confess, and “you’ll be OK.”

Relatives of the nine people shot down during a Bible study session inside their historic black church confronted the 21-year-old suspect Friday during his initial hearing. They described their pain and anger, but also spoke of love.

“I forgive you, my family forgives you,” said Anthony Thompson, whose relative Myra Thompson was killed. “We would like you to take this opportunity to repent. … Do that and you’ll be better off than you are right now.”

Roof was ordered held until a bond is set on murder charges. He appeared by video from the county jail, somber and speaking only briefly in response to the judge’s questions.

The victims included the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a state senator who doubled as the church’s lead pastor, and eight others who played multiple roles in their families and communities: ministers and coaches, teachers and a librarian, counselors and choir singers and the elderly sexton who made sure the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was kept clean.

A police affidavit released Friday accused Roof of shooting all nine multiple times, and making a “racially inflammatory statement” as he stood over an unnamed survivor.

The families are determined not to respond in kind, said Alana Simmons, who lost her grandfather, the Rev. Daniel Simmons.

“Although my grandfather and the other victims died at the hands of hate, this is proof – everyone’s plea for your soul is proof they lived in love and their legacies will live in love, so hate won’t win,” she said. “And I just want to thank the court for making sure that hate doesn’t win.”

Felecia Sanders survived the Wednesday night attack by pretending to be dead, but lost her son Tywanza. She also spoke from Chief Magistrate James Gosnell’s courtroom, where Roof’s image appeared on a television screen. South Carolina allows families of victims to be given a chance to address the court during a bond hearing.

“We welcomed you Wednesday night in our Bible study with open arms. You have killed some of the most beautifulest people that I know. Every fiber in my body hurts … and I’ll never be the same,” Sanders told Roof.

“Tywanza was my hero,” Sanders added, but then even she showed some kindness to the man accused of killing her son: “As we said in Bible Study, we enjoyed you but may God have mercy on you.”

Roof bowed his head slightly. From the jail, he could hear them talking, but couldn’t see them; the camera showed only the judge.

“Charleston is a very strong community. We have big hearts. We’re a very loving community,” said Gosnell, who urged people to find it in their hearts to help not only the nine victims, but “victims on the young man’s side of the family” as well.

Roof’s public defender released a statement from his family offering prayers and sympathy for the victims, and expressing “shock, grief and disbelief as to what happened that night.”