KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It was with a heavy heart that Chiefs safety Sanders Commings worked through the team’s final practice of mini-camp on Thursday.
His cousin Rev. Clementa Pickney was one of the nine victims that were killed at the Emmanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday evening.
Pickney was a pastor at the church and was also a South Carolina state senator. He may have been the first victim as the gunman sat next to Pickney during a bible study session before opening fire on the group.
Commings did not speak after the Chiefs wrapped up minicamp, but earlier in the day he reacted on Twitter:
#RIP to my cousin #ClementaPinckney #PrayersForCharleston pic.twitter.com/yvZpncKcyM
— SANDMAN26 (@SandersCommings) June 18, 2015
Commings went through the entire mini-camp practice and then was heading to South Carolina to be with his family.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sanders Commings and his family,” said head coach Andy Reid. “He’ll be able to head back and take care of business.”
Pickney was 41 years old, the married father of two and had spent 19 years in the South Carolina state legislature.
Commings was a fifth-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft out of the University of Georgia, but his career has been derailed with multiple injuries, including missing all of the 2014 season with an ankle injury.
He’s played in just two of a possible 33 games.
The alleged murderer, 21-year old Dylann Roof was arrested Thursday morning in Shelby, North Carolina.