One of the victims included the church’s pastor and State Sen. Clementa Pinckney.
Police are continuing their investigation into the tragic shooting. Details about Roof’s past are slow to come in, but here’s everything we know about the AME shooter.
He wanted to hurt African-Americans:
Pinckney’s cousin, Sylvia Johnson, told NBC reporters she spoke with a female survivor who said Roof wanted to avenge White people in his attack. During the prayer meeting, Roof requested to sit next to Pinckney. When the bible study ended, the group heard gunshots and the gunman reportedly said, “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.’”
Roof left one woman alive to report the tragic incident:
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Dot Scott, president of the local branch of the NAACP, told CNN about the unidentified survivor, saying she told relatives she was left alive to recount what occurred in the church before and after Roof killed three men and six women.
Roof reloaded his gun five times in the church:
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The survivor’s son tried to talk Roof out of using his weapon. He ignored him and reloaded the gun five times.
The gun used in the shooting was a gift from Roof’s father:
Roof’s uncle, Carson Cowles, says his nephew was given a .45-caliber pistol by his father in April as a birthday present. Describing Roof as a very introverted person, he says he didn’t expect he would commit such a devastating crime.
“Nobody in my family had seen anything like this coming,” Cowles told Reuters. “I said, if it is him, and when they catch him, he’s got to pay for this.”