Church shooting suspect said to be in custody

Dylann Storm Roof, wearing Rhodesian and South African flags, from his Facebook page

Dylann Storm Roof, wearing Rhodesian and South African flags, from his Facebook page

Just to update from my previous “on the loose” headline — if indeed the suspect and the shooter are one and the same. From The State:

A source close to the investigation says the suspect in a Charleston AME church shooting that killed nine Wednesday night was captured Thursday in Shelby, N.C.

Authorities named 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof, of the Columbia area, as the suspect in the shooting that killed nine, including state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, a longtime South Carolina legislator who was pastor of the church….


50 thoughts on “Church shooting suspect said to be in custody

  1. Bryan Caskey

    I’m wondering if we will once again learn that he was a young male with mental health issues like the Sandy Hook shooter?” -Doug

    Yeah, just based on that picture, I’m going to go with crazy/evil. I mean, that picture looks like he’s auditioning to be a villain character in Stephen King story. Even the setting is creepy. What’s he doing in a swamp?

    Glad they caught this guy.

    1. Lynn Teague

      I disagree — I was wondering what he was doing in a place as wholesome as outdoors in a swamp. I suppose the photo could have been taken at a survivalist training event or some similar perverted exercise, but I don’t usually think of crazed killers as nature lovers.

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    Look, anyone who does something like this *has* to have mental health issues. Seriously!
    Whether these issues are exculpatory remains to be seen, but I would guess not.

    What a huge shame all around. Glad he’s caught!

    1. Doug Ross

      My question was whether the mental health issues are recent or long term. A parent giving a kid like that a gun (as was done in Sandy Hook) should be held culpable.

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        For one thing, he had been arrested 2/28 for carrying Oxycodone, and his birthday was in April.

        He was acting very suspiciously at the mall–asking when stores closed and how many employees they had when he was busted for the drugs. Seems like he had issues before he got the gun.

  3. SBS


    Is he a lone, independent psycho?
    Is that a real duck in the photo?
    What is the badge on the other side of this jacket? Richland County something?
    What is on the yellow badge on the gray sweatshirt?

    1. Scout

      It looks like a canadian goose. I suppose it might be congaree swamp since he’s from Eastover. I too am curious about the Richland??? patch on the jacket – Richland is the only thing I can discern with reasonable clarity.

      1. Rose

        It’s the Richland One Academic All Stars logo. The flag patches of Rhodesia and Apartheid South Africa have been taken up by white supremacists.

        1. scout

          Does that mean he may have been an honor student of some sort; he apparently attended rosewood, hand, and dreher at some point.

          I attended hand and dreher and was an honor student. I feel like something is being stolen from me.

          Sorry for the capitalization errors. Its hard to fix in the ipad. Why are there not arrow keys for the cursor?

          1. Kathryn Fenner

            From The State:
            Roof attended several schools in the Columbia area.

            He was a student in eight grade at Carolina Springs Middle School and then ninth grade at White Knoll High School in Lexington County before leaving, officials at Lexington 1 said.

            Other schools he attended include Rosewood Elementary and Hand Middle in Columbia, according to yearbooks.

            Read more here:

  4. Karen Pearson

    I wonder if he has any contacts in any of the various groups associated with Christian Identity, or any fellow travelers of that ilk? I suspect that he has friends that think and talk the same trash he does even if they haven’t acted upon it.

  5. Phillip

    One difference from Sandy Hook, Columbine, Aurora CO, is that this guy seems to have gone to some trouble to travel to a specific place some distance away (pre-meditation, planning) and not just any AME church, but one with very specific historical significance. Some use the term “hate crime;” with the specificity of the target and the apparent links to white-supremacist beliefs, this seems to qualify as an act of terrorism.

  6. Kathryn Fenner

    I read where he reloaded five times according to a survivor. How long would that take–I don’t know what kind of gun it was? I mean, would that not have been an opportunity for someone to disarm him, assuming the person wasn’t paralyzed by shock or fear?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Five times? That seems like a stretch, but I suppose it’s possible, if he shot every single victim between four and five times.

      I’m making assumptions here. I’m guessing that this was the .45 that his father gave him. A Colt holds 7 or 8 rounds, not counting the extra one that can be in the chamber…

    2. Bryan Caskey

      Reloading time depends on proficiency and type of handgun. Assuming it’s a 1911-style .45 pistol with a standard magazine, that’s seven rounds in the mag in addition to one in the pipe. Five full magazine reloads is 35 more rounds.

      That is a lot of shooting.

      In a non-stress situasitusituation, I can drop an empty mag, replace it with a full one, and close the slide (making the gun ready to fire again) in less than 2 seconds.

          1. Kathryn Fenner

            Well apparently, according to “reliable” (ahem) Facebook commenters, black churches have been encouraging their members to take CWP training, as much to defend against the robbery of the collection plate as anything else. How have we come to this?

      1. scout

        Did he graduate from there or just attend there? He did attend some Richland one schools as well including Dreher for a short time, according to one article I saw.

        1. SBS

          Maybe he didn’t graduate high school at all and the jacket belongs to a friend or maybe the Eastover relative in the straw hat who told reporters to ‘go back where you came from’.

            1. SBS

              Could be. Or maybe it is a staged photo and this is a “master’s jacket” of sorts, in an ongoing tournament of atrocities. Let it not be.

      2. Kathryn Fenner

        The State says he went to White Knoll in the 9th grade, based on yearbooks. Don’t know if he dropped out or they just can’t find him in any other yearbooks.

        He lives off Garners Ferry now.

    1. Doug Ross

      Not as a deterrent for other killers but as punishment for a crime for which there can be no entry back into society.

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        Aw, I bet it would be far worse punishment to put him in with the black gangs in super max.

      2. bud

        Actually the death penalty is a negative deter ant. These guys seek out attention. And boy is he getting it now. A death penalty case is a grand stage for them.

  7. bud

    In a nation of 300million guns AND the highest murder rate in the developed world isn’t the solution obvious? We need 400 million! The NRA thinks so.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        It’s evil, combined with the easy availability of firearms.

        Evil isn’t generally this deadly in, say, England.

        Does that mean I have a solution? No, I don’t. I truly believe that it is an ENORMOUS problem that there are so many guns out there, to the extent that it’s way too easy for evil or insane people to get their hands on them, legally or illegally.

        It’s an economic problem — too many people with murderous intent chasing too many guns.

        But I have NO idea how we can fix the problem. I don’t see any practical way to address it, legally or politically.

        The problem is that too many guns simply EXIST. It doesn’t matter how strict we are about keeping them out of the hands of the criminal or mentally unstable. If on Monday all the guns in the country are in the hands of law-abiding citizens, by Friday a few of them will be in the hands of the wrong people. Burglary is not that rare a crime…

        So what can be done? Again, I don’t know…

        1. Bryan Caskey

          A psychopath murders a bunch of defenseless, innocent people, so obviously the solution is to disarm law-abiding people.

          Yep, makes total sense!

      2. Kathryn Fenner

        It’s a lot harder to do what he did with anything but a gun. A knife is simply not that deadly, and a bomb is riskier

        1. Doug Ross

          It may also be a prescription drug issue. Let’s see what mind altering legal drugs he was on.

  8. Brad Warthen Post author

    This came in about an hour ago from Hillary Clinton. I don’t have time to read it right now; just passing it on:

    Clinton Remarks on Massacre in Charleston

    Columbia, SC – Hillary Clinton made the following remarks today following yesterday’s horrific massacre in Charleston. She spoke about the topic at the beginning of remarks at the National Association of Latino Elected Officials meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada today.

    A full transcript of her remarks about Charleston is included below:

    “Before I begin, I want to say a few words about the tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina. I was in Charleston yesterday. I went to a technical school—Trident Tech—where I met with young people who are serving apprenticeships. It was such a positive, upbeat, optimistic event. So many of those young people were for the first time seeing what they could do and being paid for doing it.

    The administration and faculty of the school was so proud. The businesses that were employing the diverse group of apprentices were getting their money’s worth. And I left feeling not only great about Charleston, but great about America.

    When I got to Las Vegas, I learned about the horrific massacre in the church. You know the shock and pain of this crime of hate strikes deep. Nine people—women and men—cut down at prayer. Murdered in a house of God. It just broke my heart. That of course is the last place we should ever see violence. We shouldn’t see it anywhere.

    In the days ahead we will once again ask what led to this terrible tragedy and where we as a nation need to go. In order to make sense of it, we have to be honest. We have to face hard truths about race, violence, guns, and division.

    Today, we join our hearts with the people of Charleston and South Carolina—people everywhere—who pray for the victims, who pray for the families, who pray for a community that knows too much sorrow. And we pray for justice. That the people of Charleston find peace and that our country finds unity.

    The church where these killings took place is known as Mother Emanuel. And like any mother, it holds its flock close. Today is a day to hold each other even closer. More than fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told the families of the girls killed in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, “You do not walk alone.” Today we say to the families of Mother Emanuel and to all the people of Charleston, “You do not walk alone.”

    You do not walk alone because millions of Americans—regardless of race or creed or ethnicity or religion—are walking with you. In grief. In solidarity. In determination. We are with you. And we stand with you as we seek answers and take action. How many innocent people in our country—from little children, to church members, to movie theater attendees—how many people do we need to see cut down before we act?

    So as we mourn and as our hearts break a little more, and as we send this message of solidarity, we will not forsake those who have been victimized by gun violence. This time we have to find answers together. I pledge to you, I will work with you—those of you who are local officials, those of you who are thinking hard about your own communities. Let’s unite in partnership, not just to talk, but to act.”


Comments are closed.