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The sister of the accused Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof launched an online campaign to raise money to cover the costs of her abandoned wedding and a honeymoon — but removed it Thursday as its existence drew increased media attention and harsh feedback on the GoFundMe page.
Amber Roof and her fiancé were set to marry on June 21, four days after her brother gunned down nine parishioners attending a Bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
“The Charleston Massacre took place and our lives were forever changed," Roof wrote on the GoFundMe page set up this week. "The media abused our privacy and published all of our wedding information and destroyed our dream day. Destroying the first day of Michael and my life together."
Roof set a goal of $5,000 to cover “lost wedding costs, to pay bills, and to send us on our dream honeymoon.” She also pledged to donate 10 percent of the proceeds to Emanuel AME church.
“We would like the chance to start our lives on a positive note,” Roof wrote on her page. “Therefore, we have decided to start a Go Fund Me account. We know money cannot replace the wedding we lost and our perfect day, however it will help us to create new memories and a new start with our new family."
As of midday Thursday, the “Fresh Start For Michael and Amber” campaign has raised around $1,600 and attracted both support and criticism.
“I can't imagine what you are going through. I too have a selfish brother that has 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. Prayers for you and your husband. I hope you can overcome the actions of your brother and know they don't reflect on you,” wrote Megan P., along with a $10 donation.
“THE NERVE OF YOU!!!” read another comment. “If its just about getting married then go to the court house. But how dare u set up a gofundme under these circumstances.”
GoFundMe Media Director Kelsea Little told NBC News that the online fund-raising site had been launched by Dylann Roof's sister. After it was taken down, Little said that Amber would "still have access to all the funds raised."