Following the deaths of South Carolina Sen. Clementa Pinckney and other parishioners at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement:

"We are shocked and deeply saddened at the horrific crime that has occurred in Charleston, SC. Our thoughts and heartfelt prayers are with the families of the victims and, also, with the people of Charleston.

We are also very saddened at the loss of a remarkable leader. Sen. Clementa Pinckney was a wonderful friend to the Myrtle Beach area and supported our efforts to strengthen the Grand Strand community. I personally enjoyed working with him to secure funding for Donate Life of SC, a cause which he eagerly supported. In addition, he honorably served the members of his district and was a cherished spiritual counselor and pastor to his congregation at Emanuel AME Church. He was a man of faith and principle, and his tragic passing leaves all who knew him searching for comfort."