Suspect in SC church shooting told police “I had to do it”

Jurors in the South Carolina church shooting trial are shown video of accused shooter Dylann Roof’s confession to police.

SHELBY, NORTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES (JUNE 18, 2015) (SHELBY POLICE DEPARTMENT VIA NBC) – Jurors in the federal hate crimes trial of Dylann Roof watched a video on Friday (December 9) of the avowed white supremacist confessing to killing nine parishioners at a historic black church in South Carolina and saying he felt he “had to do it.”

Roof told investigators after his arrest for the June 17, 2015, massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston that he estimated he had killed five people as retribution for perceived racial grievances.

“What I did is so minuscule to what they’re doing to white people every day,” Roof told police in Shelby, North Carolina, where he was arrested about 13 hours after security video showed him leaving the church.

Roof’s lawyers have not disputed his guilt but hope to spare him from being executed on charges of hate crimes resulting in death, obstruction of religion and firearms violations.

Roof, 22, also faces a death sentence if found guilty of murder charges in state court.

The videotaped confession, presented on the third day of his federal trial in Charleston, gave jurors a chance to hear the defendant explain why he carried out the attack on a Bible study meeting.

He appeared both animated and at ease as he spoke to investigators, laughing at times as he answered their questions.

Associated Links

  • Charleston church shooting
  • Dylann Roof
  • Jury
  • Confession
  • Roof
  • Law
  • United States
  • Murder