The Charleston shooting suspect who killed nine people at a church on Wednesday night has been captured the authorities, according to the Charleston Police Department who announced the suspect’s capture earlier today.
The suspect has been identified as 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof.
Roof was arrested in Shelby, North Carolina just 14 hours after the shooting took place. He was arrested after a citizen saw what authorities indicated to be the suspect’s vehicle, according to police.
The senseless killing of nine people took place at a prayer meeting at a historic black church located in Charleston, South Carolina.
Greg Mullen, Charleston’s police chief, indicated that the suspect had been located and arrested roughly 200 miles away in Shelby, which is a town just west of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Police allege that the shooting suspect, a white gunman, walked into a prayer meeting and sat down with black parishioners for nearly an hour before he opened fire in what officials have described as a racially motivated attack, The New York Times reported.
In light of the violent attack, the United States Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Attorney’s Office for South Carolina have opened a hate crime investigation into the shooting in parallel with a state and local investigation into the incident.
The attack, allegedly a hate crime, left six women and three men dead. Among those was the church’s pastor, Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, who was also a state senator.
Of those that died, eight people were pronounced dead at the scene while one person died on their way to the Medical University of South Carolina.
Sylvia Johnson, a cousin of the recently murdered Pastor Pinckney, told NBC News that she had spoken with one of the survivors and they had told her that the suspect said:
I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.
What are your thoughts on the racially-motivated deadly attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church?