The Charleston church killer, Dylann Roof has been charged with nine counts of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. Roof will appear in a South Carolina court at 2 p.m. for a bond hearing on Friday June 19th.
Roof went to the historically Black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. on Wednesday June 17th and sat in bible study for an hour with Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Tywanza Sanders, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Daniel L. Simmons, Ethel Lee Lance, Myra Thompson and Rev. Depayne Middleton-Doctor before he told them he was there to “kill Black people.”
It’s being reported that Roof almost didn’t go through with the shooting because everyone was so nice to him. When Roof sat for an hour in the church, he got the chance to experience his victims and his humanity almost forced its way into his evil heart.
He reportedly admitted to investigators that he killed the parishioners because he wanted to start a race war. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is calling for the death penalty. The shooting is being investigated as a hate crime and it’s still unclear whether or not Roof is part of any supremacist groups.
Now, Roof’s childhood friend, Joseph Meek (who reconnected with Roof this year) said that he’d changed and the he’d say racial slurs and sprout violent racist ideas. Meek said Roof told him he wanted to “hurt a whole bunch of people.” Meek says he didn’t take his friend seriously. But he was increasingly worried and ended up taking Roof’s .45 caliber handgun that he’d purchased for himself for his 21st birthday.
“He was saying all this stuff about how the races should be segregated, that whites should be with whites,” Meek said. “I could tell there was something inside him, there was something he wouldn’t let go. I was trying to tell him, ‘What’s wrong?’ All he would say was that he was planning to do something crazy.”
According to the New York Times, another friend of Roof’s, Dalton Tyler, said that Roof had begun talking about wanting “to start a civil war.” But like Meek, he did not always take Roof seriously.
“He does weird things all the time,” Meek’s girlfriend Lindsey Fry said. And she’s right. According to court records, Roof went to the Columbiana Centre (a shopping mall), dressed in all black. He asked the store’s employees “out of the ordinary” questions about how many people were working and what time they’d be leaving.
When a police officer questioned Roof, he “began speaking very nervously and stated that his parents were pressuring him to get a job,” but then admitted that he had not asked for applications at any of the stores, the report said. He was arrested and when he was searched, police found Suboxone, a prescription drug used to treat opiate addiction. He was also slapped with a charge of felony gun possession.
In April, Roof was charged with trespassing at the same mall. The police report said he had been barred from the mall for a year after the drug arrest. Roof was convicted on that charge, a misdemeanor.
Roof was captured in Shelby, N.C. after florist Debbie Dills spotted a vehicle matching the description of the car and followed him for more than 30 miles while contacting the authorities.
Roof is currently in custody under suicide watch.