Shooter Behind The South Carolina Massacre Arrested

Image via Facebook.com
“I have to do it. You rape our women and you're taking over our country. You have to go.” This is what Dylann Roof reportedly announced to members of a Bible study group at a Charleston, South Carolina church last night before he opened fire. Nine were killed and several more shot in a hate crime that's rocking the country.

Roof was captured by police in Shelby, NC, on Thursday morning and is being held as the alleged shooter. Early reports say that Roof was arrested during a traffic stop after a civilian called in a tip and that he cooperated. It's believed he acted alone.

This is a developing story. We'll continue to update.

Details about who he is and why he committed such a heinous crime are still coming to light. Here's what we know about him so far:

According to reports, Roof, 21, came to the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston on Wednesday, and spent an hour taking part in a Bible study group before opening fire. Three women and six men died, and at least three were wounded but lived. State Senator Clementa Pinckney, who was also the church's pastor, is reported to be among those killed.

A 5-year-old girl says she survived the massacre by playing dead, and another woman said the gunman told her he was letting her go so she could tell everyone what happened at the church.

Roof fled the scene in a black Hyundai, wearing blue jeans, a gray sweatshirt, and Timberland boots. Surveillance footage from the A.M.E. Church allowed his uncle, 56-year-old Carson Cowles, to identify him. "The more I look at him, the more I'm convinced, that's him," Cowles said in an interview with Reuters, describing his nephew as "quiet and soft-spoken." Cowles told the police that Roof's father gave him a .45 caliber pistol for his birthday.

Dylann Roof is from Columbia, SC, about 100 miles from Charleston. According to his Facebook page, he went to to White Knoll High School in Lexington, SC. Roof's Facebook page is private, but his 88 friends appear to be a racially diverse group.

A friend of his told DailyBeast reporter Katie Zavadski that Roof "made a lot of racist jokes" in high school. He was reportedly staunchly conservative, into drugs, and wore pro-apartheid flags. In his Facebook profile picture (above), the patches on his jacket are from apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Zavadski reports.

Roof was arrested on drug charges in Lexington, SC, this March.

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