CHARLESTON, S.C. (MEDIA GENERAL) – Law enforcement officials familiar with the Charleston shooting have said Dylann Roof has confessed to authorities to shooting and killing nine people Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
One officer said Roof, a 21-year-old white man, told investigators he wanted to start a race war.
One of the survivors of Wednesday’s shooting told authorities Roof was there “to kill black people,” and that Roof said, “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”
Officials also said he bought the .45-caliber handgun used in the shooting in April.
Roof, who was on the lam for approximately 14 hours after the killings at Emanuel AME Church, was apprehended late Thursday morning in Shelby, North Carolina, and was extradited back to Charleston late Thursday.
WCIV first reported Roof is expected to be charged with one count of murder at his initial hearing today to start the legal process, though several more charges are expected to be added. Roof’s first hearing is expected to be held via CCTV link Friday afternoon. According to ABC News, South Carolina law says he will not be allowed out on bond.
It has yet to be established whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Roof, which is legal in South Carolina.
Roof currently is in custody at the Al Cannon Detention Center in North Charleston. Due to the high-profile nature of the crime, Roof will not have contact with the general jail population. Also, due to the nature of the crime and past comments made to other people, Roof has been placed on suicide watch.