CHICAGO (CBS) — With federal authorities confirming the man suspected of killing nine people in a South Carolina church has been arrested, a Chicago man who knew one of the victims was having difficulty reconciling what happened.

Albert Tyson, an elder at St. Stephen African Methodist Episcopal Church, knew Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, and said he had a meteoric rise, both in religion and in politics.

“He had a bright and sunny personality. I will remember his smile,” he said.

Pinckney, a state senator in South Carolina, was among nine people shot and killed Wednesday night during a prayer meeting at Emanuel AME, an historic black church in South Carolina.

As a man of faith himself, Tyson said he cannot reconcile what happened.

“What I can say is that there is no rationale to evil, which is why it can’t be reconciled,” he said.

Tyson said the country needs to do something about guns.

“I understand the constitutional issues, and all of that other thing, but I don’t know any other way to say it: these guns are going to be the death of us,” he said.

The suspected gunman, 21-year-old Dylan Storm Roof, was arrested Thursday morning in Shelby, North Carolina, about four hours from Charleston.

Tyson said the arrest is a step toward justice, and now he knows the gunman cannot do this to anyone else.