Who is Dylann Roof, Charleston church massacre suspect?

Published: Thursday, June 18, 2015 @ 11:19 AM
Updated: Thursday, June 18, 2015 @ 4:57 PM


            This April 2015 photo released by the Lexington County (S.C.) Detention Center shows Dylann Roof, 21. Charleston Police identified Roof as the shooter who opened fire during a prayer meeting inside the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., Wednesday, June 17, 2015 night, killing several people. (Lexington County (S.C.) Detention Center via AP)
This April 2015 photo released by the Lexington County (S.C.) Detention Center shows Dylann Roof, 21. Charleston Police identified Roof as the shooter who opened fire during a prayer meeting inside the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., Wednesday, June 17, 2015 night, killing several people. (Lexington County (S.C.) Detention Center via AP)

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Dylann Roof is accused of opening fire at a historic black church in Charleston, killing nine people. Here's what we know so far about the suspect.

1. Focus of manhunt before being caught: Dylann Roof, 21, has been identified as the suspect in the mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday. The FBI says Roof is from Lexington County, South Carolina. The Charleston Police Department describes Roof as a white male with a slender build. Roof was captured Thursday morning in Shelby, North Carolina.

>>Related: 5 things to know about the deadly Charleston, S.C. church shooting

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2. Has arrest record: According to The Post and Courier, Roof was arrested on March 1 on a drug charge and on April 26 on a trespassing charge.

3. Allegedly given gun for his 21st birthday:  Reuters is reporting that Roof’s father gave him a .45-caliber pistol for his birthday last year, according to his uncle, Carson Cowles. The uncle told Reuters that Roof was “quiet and soft-spoken.”

4. His Facebook page is being talked about: Many on social media were quick to point out that the Facebook page that appears to be associated with Roof includes friends of various races, including African-American. In addition, the Facebook page shows a photo of Roof wearing a jacket with flags associated with apartheid. This Facebook page has not been confirmed as belonging to the suspect, and will likely be taken down by Facebook.

5. Roof’s alleged reason for massacre: The suspect reportedly told a survivor, “I have to do it. You’re raping our women and taking over the country. You have to go.” The Emanuel AME Church is a historic black church, known as "one of the oldest and largest black congregations south of Baltimore," according to The Post and Courier. 

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