After his mother's heart attack in court Wednesday, Charleston, South Carolina shooter, Dylann Roof, confessed without any hesitation to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church massacre on the night of June 17, 2015. Via an FBI video released today, following his murder trial yesterday, Dec. 8, Roof with a laugh admits, "I went to that church in Charleston and I did it. When asked clearly, "Did you shoot them?", Roof replied with another laugh, "Yes". He is currently charged with 33 federal counts, including hate crimes.
Following the prosecutors' description of the cold and calculated attack, killing nine black church members, Roof's mother, Amelia Cowles, collapsed in court Wednesday suffering from a heart attack. During the opening of Roof's federal death penalty trial, his mother repeatedly said "I'm sorry" while listening to, survivor, Felicia Sanders' emotional testimony, leaving "spectators and even court personnel (including members of the prosecution and defense)" crying with her.
Upon ending the emotionally-heart-wrenching day, the family attorney, David Bruck, petitioned for a mistrial stating, the survivor's testimony was "inappropriate because it seemed to contain a statement on what Roof's sentence should be", per ABC News.
The next day during Roof's death penalty trial, Roof was placed upon the stand and questioned about the night of the massacre and events following. Below is the dialogue via CNN:
Asked how many people he killed that day, the young man in the mushroom-shaped haircut calmly replied: "If I was going to guess, 5 maybe. I'm really not sure."In the video, Roof said he opened fire with a Glock .45-caliber pistol. He fired 70 rounds that night in June 2015. A dozen people had stood to offer prayers at the bible study, with their eyes closed, prosecutors said. Nine were killed."I didn't say anything to them," Roof said of his victims.What about after the shootings?"I didn't talk to them."Roof admitted in the video sitting with his victims about 15 minutes."It was a bible study," he said.He had seven magazines with him, he told investigators. A bag and his weapon."I was sitting there thinking if I should do it or not for 15 minutes," Roof said, according to the video. "I could have walked out. I don't want to say it was spur of the moment."In the video, Roof is seen sitting at a circular table at the Shelby, North Carolina, police department. He occasionally gestures with his hands but his voice -- deep and monotone -- betrays no emotion. The sun hits the camera lens, partly washing out the young man's face."Somebody had to do it," Roof said of the slayings. He added that "black people are killing white people everyday... What I did is so minuscule compared to what they do to white people every day."
"I like Charleston," he said in the video. "It's historic too, you know. I think at one time it had the highest ratio of blacks to white during slavery, and AME is a historic church. I researched black churches."After sketching out the massacre scene for investigators, Roof said he emptied out seven magazines. His victims cowered under tables, he recalled. No one tried to escape.Roof said he was "in absolute awe" that police weren't waiting outside when he left the building.At one point, Roof said what he did was "political" and that he considered himself "a white supremacist.""Our people are superior," he said. "That's just the fact." His views on race were awakened by the Trayvon Martin case in Florida, he said. He talked about Muslims overrunning parts of Europe. He said he supported Hitler.
Roof's current trial is focusing on the charges of hate crimes. His trial for state murder including the charges of three men and six women (including pastor and state Senator Clemnta C. Pinckney) is set to begin January 17.
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