Dylann Roof, the only suspect in a shooting Wednesday night that left nine people dead at a historic black church in Charleston, SC is being held at a city detention center on $1 million bail.
Roof, a 21-year-old white man from Lexington, SC, was quickly identified as the suspect. He reportedly opened fire after spending about an hour at a bible study meeting, killing nine attendees and injuring several others, at the Emanuel AME Church. He then fled the scene. On Thursday, a florist in Shelby, NC observed a vehicle that matched the description of the car authorities believed Roof was driving. Following the driver she then recognized him from the news; she called her boss who alerted a police officer friend. That officer contacted the Shelby Police Department.
Roof was arrested twice before this year. He had been booked at the Lexington County Detention Center on Feb. 28 and April 26, after being arrested by the Columbia Police Department.
Carson Cowles, who identified himself as Roof’s uncle, told Reuters that Roof’s father had given him a .45-caliber handgun for his birthday. “I actually talked to him on the phone briefly and he was saying, ‘Well, I’m outside practicing with my new gun,’” he said.
An AP reported that a man identifying himself as a friend of Roof’s, named Joseph Meek Jr., said Roof had recently made racist comments against African Americans. Meek Jr saw Roof on the morning of the shooting and reported to the AP that Roof had ranted that “blacks were taking over the world [and] someone needed to do something about it for the white race.”
Roof faced a judge today via closed circuit television. His next court appearance will be October 23, 2015.