Update: The gunman who killed 9 members of a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. on Wednesday night has been identified as 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof of Columbia, S.C. He is still on the loose and police believe he may have fled the area.
In a Facebook photo, Roof is seen wearing a jacket bearing flags of Apartheid-ear South Africa.
One of the survivors quoted Roof as saying “I have to do it. You’re raping our women and taking over the country. You have to go.”
Roof was previously arrested on April 26 and charged with trespassing. His father gave him a .45 caliber handgun for his birthday.
Many of his Facebook friends are black. An uncle recognized his nephew from surveillance photos on the news. He described Roof as “quiet and soft-spoken,” according to Reuters.
After the shooting, Roof fled the church in a black Hundai, license plate LGF 300.
Originally posted on June 18, 2015 @ 10:10 a.m.
Six females and 3 males were killed in the senseless massacre on Wednesday night. One of the victims was the pastor of the church and state Senator Clementa C. Pinckney. 12 people were in the church when the gunman entered at around 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Witnesses say the suspect attended a bible meeting with church members for about an hour.
The gunman reportedly allowed survivors to leave the church so they could tell people what he had done.
The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 21-25 years old, about 5′-9″ with slender build and sandy blond hair that may be a wig.
The gunman was quoted as saying, “You people” among other things that suggest the shooting was a racially motivated crime.
Enhanced screen grabs from surveillance video taken outside the historic black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston shows a young white male wearing what appears to be a prosthetic over his nose.
A black object that is visible under the suspect’s grey sweatshirt was initially believed to be a fanny pack. But that object may be part of a bullet proof vest or body armor, according to a guest on CNN.
The vest is the type of body armor worn by police officers or military personnel.
The CNN guest also said the gunman may have concealed his weapon inside a backpack.
Police are pursuing “hundreds of leads” in the case.