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2015 Charleston Church Shootings

2015 Charleston Church Shootings21 posts
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3 Aug, 2015

Evidence request

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Roof’s lawyers file motions in federal court seeking access to any statements their client has made to authorities, as well as physical evidence and summaries of any proposed expert witnesses expected to testify.

22 Jul, 2015

Charged with federal hate crimes

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Roof is charged with 33 counts of hate crimes by a federal grand jury. The indictment says he targeted the victims on the basis of race, in a house of worship, “in order to make his attack more notorious”. Attorney General Lynch says the federal government has not decided if it will seek the death penalty if Roof is convicted and that officials will consider factors including the wishes of the families of the shooting victims. Lynch:

The parishioners had Bibles. Dylann Roof had his .45 caliber Glock pistol and eight magazines loaded with hollow point bullets.

7 Jul, 2015

Three attempted murder charges

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South Carolina prosecutor files attempted murder charges against Roof. A state judge already has been appointed. Federal authorities have not said whether they will pursue hate crime charges against Roof.

2 Jul, 2015

Others may be charged


A joint state and federal investigation into Roof’s activities has widened to include other persons that may have had knowledge of Roof’s plans. Investigators are reviewing cell phone and computer records to determine how much others knew. It is unclear what, if any, charges Roof’s associates would face.

Jun 2015

Delivers Rev. Pinckney’s eulogy, sings Amazing Grace

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The President delivers the eulogy at the funeral of South Carolina State Senator Rev. Pinckney, who was also a personal acquaintance, which includes him singing Amazing Grace.

Reverend Pinckney embodied a politics that was neither mean nor small. He conducted himself quietly and kindly and diligently. He encouraged progress not by pushing his ideas alone but by seeking out your ideas, partnering with you to make things happen. He was full of empathy and fellow feeling, able to walk in somebody else’s shoes and see through their eyes.

23 Jun, 2015

Says victims should have defended themselves

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Chumley says the victims should have been able to defend themselves:

These people sit in there and waited their turn to be shot…That’s sad…that somebody in there with the means of self-defense could have stopped this. And we’d have less funerals than we’re having…Why didn’t somebody just do something? You got one skinny person shooting a gun. We need to do what we can…I know it’s really horrible for nine people to be shot. And I understand he reloaded his gun during in the process. That’s upsetting.

20 Jun, 2015

Manifesto found

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A 2500-word ‘manifesto’ titled The Last Rhodesian (link to text), apparently written by Roof details his motivation and discusses the different racial groups he has issues with:  The site also has images of Roof burning the America flag, posing next to symbols of the Confederacy and posing with a gun pointed at the camera.

The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case. I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up. I read the Wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was. It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words “black on White crime” into Google, and I have never been the same since that day. The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?

He then discusses various racial groups: Blacks, Jews, Hispanics, Asians.

Niggers are stupid and violent. At the same time they have the capacity to be very slick. Black people view everything through a racial lense. Thats what racial awareness is, its viewing everything that happens through a racial lense. They are always thinking about the fact that they are black. This is part of the reason they get offended so easily, and think that some thing are intended to be racist towards them, even when a White person wouldnt be thinking about race. The other reason is the Jewish agitation of the black race. Black people are racially aware almost from birth, but White people on average dont think about race in their daily lives. And this is our problem. We need to and have to. Say you were to witness a dog being beat by a man. You are almost surely going to feel very sorry for that dog. But then say you were to witness a dog biting a man. You will most likely not feel the same pity you felt for the dog for the man. Why? Because dogs are lower than men. This same analogy applies to black and White relations.

And ends with an “Explanation”:

To take a saying from a film, “I see all this stuff going on, and I dont see anyone doing anything about it. And it pisses me off.”. To take a saying from my favorite film, “Even if my life is worth less than a speck of dirt, I want to use it for the good of society.” I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.

19 Jun, 2015

Roof family statement

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Dylann Roof family statement imageThe Roof family releases a statement:

The Roof Family would like to extend their deepest sympathies and condolences to families of the victims in Wednesday night’s shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Words cannot express our shock, grief, and disbelief as to what happened that night. We are devastated and saddened by what occurred. We offer our prayers sympathy for all of those impacted by these events…

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those killed this week. We have all been touched by the moving words from the victims’ families offering God’s forgiveness and love in the face of such horrible suffering. Our hope and prayer is for peace and healing for the families of victims, the Charleston community, and those touched by these events throughout the state of South Carolina and our nation…As you can imagine, words are hard to find and we would ask the media respect of family’s privacy at this time.

Weapons charge bond set at $1m

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Appearing on video link, Judge Gosnell sets Roof’s bail at $1 million for the weapon-possession charge. A superior court judge must set bail for the murder charges.

Relatives of the shooting victims also speak at the hearing, with the daughter of victim Ethel Lance sobbing as she says, “I forgive you.” The mother of Tywanza Sanders tells Roof that “every fiber in my body hurts.” “Their legacies will live in love, so hate won’t win,” says Alana Simmons, the granddaughter of Rev. Daniel Simmons.

Friend: Roof wanted race war

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Joey Meek, a friend who reconnected with Roof a few weeks prior to the shootings, says that while they got drunk together on vodka, Roof began complaining that:

Blacks were taking over the world [and that] someone needed to do something about it for the white race.

Meek says that during their reunion Roof told him that he had used birthday money from his parents to buy a .45-caliber Glock pistol and that he had “a plan” that was six months in the making. He didn’t say what the plan was, but Meek said it scared him enough that he took the gun out of Roof’s car and hid it in his house until the next day.

Confesses, charged

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Roof confesses that he is responsible for the shootings, and is charged with nine counts of murder and one count of illegal weapons possession. Roof tells police that he almost didn’t go through with the shootings because everyone was so nice to him, but he decided he had to “go through with his mission.” Roof’s cell at the detention facility is next to Michael Slager, the white South Carolina officer charged with murder for shooting Walter Scott, an unarmed black man.

Victim’s family tributes

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Coleman-Singleton’s son, Christopher speaks about his mother and the other victims of Roof.

It’s funny how I always told you that you went to church too much. You would laugh it off and say, ‘Boy you can never have too much of the Lord.’ You were a better mother than I could ever have asked for…This has truly broken my heart in every way possible, but I know I have to stay strong for my little brother and sister…I thank everyone for your prayers and thoughts, [Roof’s actions were terrible] but I’m positive this strong woman is in a better place now and I forgive him. Keep our families in your prayers as we continue with this horrid grieving process

18 Jun, 2015

Waives extradition, returns to Charleston


Dylann Roof extraditionDuring a quick first appearance in a Cleveland County, NC courthouse, Roof chooses not to fight extradition. Shortly thereafter Roof boards a plane accompanied by law enforcement officials in Shelby, N.C. at Cleveland County Regional Airport. One hour later, he arrives in Charleston and is being detained at the Al Cannon Detention Center.

Planned attack for six months

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Dalton Tyler, who says he has known Roof for seven months to one year, says he saw Roof last week.

[He had been] planning something like that for six months…He was big into segregation and other stuff. He said he wanted to start a civil war. He said he was going to do something like that and then kill himself.

Tyler says he met Roof through a good friend. He also says Roof and his parents have an “on and off” relationship, and that they had bought him a gun but never allowed him to take it with him until this past week.

Obama comments on killings

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President Obama addresses the killings in South Carolina:

I don’t need to be constrained about the emotions tragedies like this raise. I’ve had to make comments like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times. We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun…Now is the time for mourning and healing, but let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country, will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. It is in our power to do something about it… I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now.

He also says he and first lady Michelle Obama have relationships with many of the church’s parishioners, including the slain pastor.


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Dylann Roof carPolice arrrest Roof in Shelby, North Carolina, almost 250 miles (400 km) – about three and a half hours’ drive – away from Charleston, when local police stop his car after a citizen called in about suspicious activity. Police say Roof was “cooperative” with the officer who stopped him.



Debbie Dills, who has been following the news and seen Roof’s description, spots Roof’s car and follows him for 35 miles on Highway 74 from outside of Gastonia to Shelby. She calls her boss at Frady’s Florist & Gifts in Kings Mountain, and he calls the police in Shelby. Dills:

I knew it was a black car, and it had a tag on the front. I saw pictures of him with the bowl cut. I said, I’ve seen that car for some reason. I look, and it’s got a South Carolina tag on it. I thought, ‘Nah, that’s not his car.’ Then I got closer and saw that haircut. I was nervous. I had the worst feeling. Is that him or not him?..I was scared, I felt bad. I felt really weird. I felt like it was him, but I didn’t want it to be him.

Victims named

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The Coronor’s office releases the victims’ names:

State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the church’s pastor.

Cynthia Hurd, 54, St. Andrews regional branch manager for the Charleston County Public Library system.

Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, a church pastor, speech therapist and coach of the girls’ track and field team at Goose Creek High School. Tywanza Sanders, 26, who had a degree in business administration from Allen University, where Pinckney also attended

Ethel Lance, 70, a retired Gilliard Center employee who worked recently as a church janitor.

Susie Jackson, 87, Lance’s cousin who was named by a relative and was a longtime church member.

Depayne Middleton Doctor, 49, who retired in 2005 as Charleston County director of the Community Development Block Grant Program.

Mira Thompson, 59, a pastor at the church.

Daniel Simmons Sr., 74, who died in a hospital operating room.

Charleston shootings monologue

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Stewart speaks about the Charleston Church Shootings in a non-comedic opening monologue:

I didn’t do my job today. And maybe if I wasn’t nearing the end of the run or this wasn’t such a common occurrence maybe I could’ve pulled out of the spiral, but I didn’t.

If America had considered this Islamic terrorism we’ll torture people…We’ve got to do whatever we can to keep Americans safe. Nine people shot in a church, what about that? ‘Hey, what are you gonna do, crazy is as crazy is, right?’ That’s the part that I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around…The Confederate flag flies over South Carolina, and the roads are named for Confederate generals, and the white guy is the one who feels like his country is being taken away from him.

The Daily Show - Charleston Church Shooting