The latest on church shooting: Survivor played dead
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The latest on church shooting: Survivor played dead
The Associated Press
Jun. 19, 2015
Felecia Sanders says she survived a shooting massacre at a historic black church in Charleston by playing dead as she lay on top of her granddaughter to protect her.
Cynthia Taylor told The Associated Press that she spoke with Sanders and that is what Sanders told her.
Taylor is the niece of 87-year-old shooting victim Susie Jackson, who was a longtime member of The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and sang in the choir.
A white male fatally shot nine people at the church Wednesday night during a Bible study session.
Police arrested 21-year-old Dylann Roof in North Carolina on Thursday and flew him back to South Carolina to face charges.
A friend of the suspect accused of shooting and killing nine people inside a black church in Charleston said he told him a few weeks ago he had "a plan."
Joseph Meek Jr. said he was drinking vodka with 21-year-old Dylann Roof when Roof made the remark while he was railing against blacks.
Roof didn't elaborate on the plan, but Meek said he was worried. He said he knew his friend had a "Glock" — a .45 caliber pistol — in the trunk of his car.
Meek said Roof told him he bought the gun with money he got from his parents for his birthday.
With the way Roof was carrying on, Meek said he took the gun from the trunk of Roof's car and hid it in his house, just in case.
"I didn't think he would do anything," he said.
But the next day, when Roof was sober, he gave it back.
Meek's brother, Jacob, said he recalled something else. As they were driving to a lake on Wednesday, Roof said he should be careful moving his backpack in the car because of the "magazines."
But Jacob said he thought Roof was referring to periodicals - instead of a device that stores ammunition.
"Now it all makes sense," he said.
A North Carolina florist is being hailed for her help catching the man accused of shooting and killing nine people inside a black church in Charleston.
Debbie Dills had been on her way to work Thursday morning when she saw a familiar black Hyundai next to her at a stoplight. She says her heart raced when she saw the driver: A white man with a bowlcut, just like the photos of the suspect she had seen on the news.
The apprehension of 21-year-old Dylann Roof ended an intense, hourslong manhunt.
Dills says she called her boss, Todd Frady, who called a police officer he knew. That officer contacted the Shelby Police Department, whose officers captured Roof.
Dills says she caught up with the suspect and got a license plate number, following the car for about 2 miles while police confirmed it was the right car.
Charleston, South Carolina, police say the suspect in the shooting of nine people in a historic black church in Charleston is back in the state.
In a tweet, police said 21-year-old Dylann Roof will be held at the Al Cannon Detention Center, and a bond hearing is pending.
North Carolina authorities say the suspect in the shooting of nine people in a historic black church in Charleston has been transferred into the custody of the FBI and is being flown to South Carolina to face charges.
Shelby Police Chief Jeff H. Ledford said 21-year-old Dylann Roof would be charged either when the plane transporting him landed in South Carolina or when it entered South Carolina airspace.
Roof has waived his right to counsel, meaning he will either represent himself or hire his own lawyer.
Authorities say Roof fatally shot nine people Wednesday night during a prayer meeting at the downtown Emanuel AME Church.
Police say Roof was with the group for nearly an hour before the shooting.
Authorities believe it was a hate crime.
An assistant clerk in North Carolina says the extradition hearing for suspect in the fatal shooting of nine people at a historic black church lasted just 10 minutes, and he waived his right to counsel.
At the hearing, suspect 21-year-old Dylann Roof waived his right to extradition, which means he will be headed to South Carolina.
Cleveland County Assistant Clerk Ruth Deviney says she doesn't know when or how that will happen. She says Roof was taken from the courthouse by officers from the FBI, the Sheriff's Office and the Shelby Police. She says he's legally in the custody of the Shelby police.
Waiving his right to counsel means Roof will either represent himself or hire his own lawyer.
Court records show that the suspect in the fatal shooting of nine people at a historic black church has waived extradition and will be headed from Shelby, North Carolina — where he was arrested — back to South Carolina.
The records show that 21-year-old Dylann Roof waived extradition during a Thursday afternoon court appearance in Shelby. He was arrested there earlier in the day in a car by local police.
Police in Charleston, South Carolina, say he fatally shot the nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Church there on Wednesday night after joining in a Bible study group for nearly an hour.
On Thursday, Roof wore a bullet-resistant vest over a white T-shirt, black jeans and brown boots as two police officers walked him through a side door at the Shelby police department and down some stairs to a waiting squad car.
He had shackles on his feet and his hands were cuffed behind his back.
Roof kept his head down most of the time, chin toward his chest, before officers drove him away.
A friend says the white man accused of killing nine people inside a historic black church in Charleston had told him recently that black people were taking over the world and that something needed to be done for the white race.
Joseph Meek Jr. told The Associated Press on Thursday at his home in Lexington, South Carolina, that 21-year-old Dylann Roof had reconnected with him a few weeks ago. The two had been best friends in middle school but lost touch when Roof moved away about five years ago.
Meek says that Roof's racial comments came completely out of the blue and that his friend had been nothing like that before he moved away.
Meek says he could tell something was troubling his friend recently, but he wasn't able to find out what was bothering him before the shooting.
The police chief in the town where a fatal church shooting suspect was apprehended says a tip that led to his capture came in from a business.
Chief Jeff Ledford of Shelby, North Carolina, says the business contacted police about a possible sighting of suspect 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof about 10:30 Thursday morning. Ledford didn't name the business but said his department was contacted about the call by police in nearby Kings Mountain.
Shortly after, Ledford says, officers saw the vehicle and stopped it. Ledford says they identified Roof as the only occupant and took him into custody at 10:49 a.m.
Officials earlier had said Roof was cooperative during the arrest. Officials are investigating the fire, which killed nine, as a potential hate crime.
The county coroner says the man who fatally shot nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, had joined the group for Bible study, where he was accepted by the group before becoming aggressive and violent.
Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten spoke Thursday at a news conference, giving the identities of the nine victims. Officials say the study group believed the shooter wanted to join them in studying the Bible, and he stayed there for nearly an hour before the shooting.
Wooten says autopsies will be conducted over the next few days. She says she doesn't have details on where or how many times the victims were shot.
Suspect 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof was arrested Thursday in Shelby, North Carolina. He's white, and officials say they're investigating the incident as a potential hate crime.
John Strong, FBI special agent in charge of North Carolina, emphasized that there's no longer a threat to the community, with officials believing Roof acted alone.
Strong said: "There are no longer any lives at risk."
Strong and other officials in North Carolina declined to answer any questions at a news conference.
A librarian and recent college graduate are among the nine people killed by a white gunman in a black church in downtown Charleston.
State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, 41, the pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Church, had already been identified as one of those killed.
Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten said Thursday the others have been identified as Cynthia Hurd, 54; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Sharonda Singleton, 45; Myra Thompson, 59; Ethel Lance, 70; Susie Jackson, 87; the Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74; and DePayne Doctor, 49.
Sanders had recently graduated from Allen University. Hurd worked for Charleston County's library system for 31 years. Doctor was an enrollment counselor at Southern Wesleyan University's Charleston Campus, according to a friend.
An agency that tracks extremists and white supremacist organizations says the suspect in the fatal shooting of nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, wasn't known to officials there.
Richard Cohen, president of Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, says suspect 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof — who is white — wasn't known to the organization.
Cohen says it's not clear whether Roof is connected to any of the 16 white supremacist organizations the law center has identified as operating in South Carolina.
But Cohen says Roof appears to be a "disaffected white supremacist" based on his Facebook page, which Cohen viewed.
Cohen notes that Roof was pictured wearing a jacket with emblems of the old apartheid regime in South Africa and the former African nation of Rhodesia, which was the name of Zimbabwe under white rule.
President Barack Obama has expressed anger, sadness and heartache at the church shooting that left nine dead in Charleston, South Carolina.
He says Wednesday night's shooting inside a historic black church shows the need for a national reckoning on gun violence in America.
The president said that too often, he's had to come to microphone to mourn the deaths of innocents killed by those who had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.
"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," Obama said.
Obama says he and Vice President Joe Biden telephoned Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. to express condolences.
The president says he and first lady Michelle Obama knew several parishioners there, including the church's pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, among those killed.
Obama spoke from the White House briefing room before departing on a weekend fundraising trip to California.
Officials say they don't know the motive for the man suspected of killing nine people inside a historic black church in Charleston, but the mayor calls it "pure, pure concentrated evil."
Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. made the remarks Thursday about the Wednesday night shooting that officials have called a hate crime.
Police chief Greg Mullen says suspect 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof was arrested Thursday in his car on the road in Shelby, N.C. Mullen says Roof had a weapon at the time, but officials wouldn't give other details.
Mullen also says it's unknown whether the shooter intentionally left behind any survivors at the church. Mullen has said Roof was at the church for nearly an hour for a prayer meeting before the shooting.
The police chief in Charleston says the white man suspected of killing nine people inside a historic black church has been apprehended in North Carolina.
Chief Greg Mullen says 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof was arrested Thursday in a car on the road in Shelby, North Carolina. He says Roof was cooperative with the officer who stopped him. Local police in Shelby made the arrest. Mullen says Roof was in the car when arrested.
Mullen says a citizen tip led police to Roof's car.
Mullen also says officials believe Roof acted alone.
Mullen said previously that Roof stayed at a prayer meeting for nearly an hour on Wednesday night before he opened fire, killing three males and six females at the church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Among the dead was state Sen. Clementa Pinckney. Other victims' names haven't been released.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says a suspect is in custody in the fatal shooting inside a historic black church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.
"I can confirm that there is a suspect in custody," she said.
She gave no other details.
Nine people including the pastor were killed in the Wednesday night shooting. An intense manhunt followed.
Police earlier identified the suspect as 21-year-old Dylann Roof of Lexington, South Carolina. They released surveillance video photographs of the gunman and a dark colored sedan he may have used to get away.
Charleston police Chief Greg Mullen says Roof stayed at a prayer meeting for nearly an hour before he opened fire. Among the dead was state Sen. Clementa Pinckney.
Authorities have called the shooting a hate crime.
Court records show that the suspect in a fatal shooting at a historic black church in South Carolina has one felony drug case pending against him, a past misdemeanor trespassing charge and no other criminal record in the state.
The state and county court records show that 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof had no adult criminal history in South Carolina until March, when he was arrested in Lexington County on felony drug possession charges. That case is pending. Count records list no attorney to try to reach for comment.
In April, state police say that Roof, of Lexington, was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing in Lexington County. No further details on that charge were immediately available.
Nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire at the downtown Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday night. Police say the young white man joined a prayer meeting at the church and then opened fire. Authorities believe it was a hate crime.
Police have identified the suspect in a fatal shooting that killed nine people at a historic black church in downtown Charleston as 21-year-old Dylann Roof of Lexington, South Carolina.
An intense manhunt is underway for Roof. Police have released surveillance video photographs of the gunman and a dark colored sedan he may have used to get away.
Police spokeswoman Barbara Vaughn identified Roof as the suspect Thursday. She says the vehicle he may be driving is a black Hyundai.
Nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire at the downtown Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday night. Police say the young white man joined a prayer meeting at the church and then opened fire.
Authorities have called it a hate crime. Federal officials have opened an investigation.
A Justice Department spokesman says federal officials are opening a hate crime investigation into the fatal shooting of nine people at a historic black church in South Carolina.
The spokesman said Thursday that the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of South Carolina are opening the investigation into the Wednesday night shooting.
The spokesman spoke on condition of anonymity. The official was not authorized to be quoted by name because the federal investigation has not been officially announced.
-- Eric Tucker, Associated Press writer in Washington
The city of Charleston has opened an assistance center for families of the victims of Wednesday night's fatal shooting at a historic black church.
City spokeswoman Barbara Vaughn says the center will be based at a hotel and will be staffed by local, state and federal victim services personnel, as well as a group of Charleston-area chaplains.
Nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire at the downtown Emanuel AME Church. Police have said there are six female and three male victims. Officials say names won't be released until families are notified. But House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford has said state Sen. Clementa Pinckney was among those killed.
The city's statement on the assistance center asks for privacy for families of the victims.
Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen says the suspect in a fatal shooting was at a historic black church attending a prayer meeting and stayed for almost an hour.
Mullen says: "He was in the church about an hour before the actual deaths."
Mullen gave the details at a Thursday morning news conference. He also identified the victims of the Wednesday night church shooting as six females and three males. He says names won't be released until families are notified.
The suspect is described as a white man thought to be in his early 20s. Mullen says he's a "very dangerous individual." Mullen says police don't know if anyone was targeted besides the church itself.
Earlier, Mullen said he had no reason to think the suspect has left the Charleston area, but is distributing information about him and the vehicle around the country.
Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen says the victims of a shooting at a historic black church were six females and three males.
At a news conference Thursday, Mullen did not give other details about the victims. He says names will not be released until families are notified.
The Wednesday night shooting is being called a hate crime. The suspect is described as a white man thought to be in his early 20s. Mullen says the suspect is a "very dangerous individual." Mullen urged people to call police about the suspect and not pursue him or his vehicle on their own.
Earlier, Mullen said he had no reason to think the suspect has left the Charleston area, but is distributing information about the suspect and the vehicle around the country.