Charleston Church Shooting Suspect Dylann Roof in Police Custody

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from The Wall Street Journal,

White man suspected of killing nine at a historic South Carolina black church now in custody in North Carolina.

Police have identified Dylann Roof, 21 years old, as the white man suspected of opening fire and killing nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. on Wednesday night, a mass shooting that authorities have described as a hate crime.

Local, state and federal law-enforcement officials launched a large-scale manhunt for Mr. Roof, who allegedly made anti-black statements during the shooting spree around 9 p.m. eastern time at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, telling his victims that they were taking over the country and “raping our women,” according to a law enforcement authority familiar with the case.

He purposely left one female witness alive, the authority said.

Mr. Roof’s grandfather, C. Joseph Roof, a Columbia, S.C. lawyer, declined to speak at length about his grandson on Thursday, but said, “I can tell you that I love him.”

Asked how he was doing, the elder Mr. Roof said, “Not well. I think you can imagine.”

The U.S. Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting that will run parallel to the continuing investigation by state and local police, a spokesman for the agency said.

Religious and political leaders in Charleston were quick to label the shooting a racially motivated hate crime, saying there was no other conceivable motive. Mr. Roof appeared to have sat for up to an hour in the church with those attending a prayer meeting before opening fire, Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said.

“This is a situation that is unacceptable in any society, and especially in our society, in our city,” Mr. Mullen said during a news conference. “We are committed to do whatever is needed to bring this individual to justice.”

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