Dylann Roof appeared in court on Friday to face the jury for shooting nine people at a historic Black church in Charleston, South Carolina last year.
As if reports about him choosing his own jurors for his federal death penalty trial and acting as his own lawyer aren’t outrageous enough, things got a little more strange as the days proceeded. According to FBI footage shown during the murder trial, Roof confessed almost immediately to the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
In the video, the self-proclaimed White supremacist described to an FBI agent that he gunned down his victims in a bid to spark a race war. He says with a laugh, “I went to that church in Charleston and I did it.” After a law enforcement officer asked, “Did you shoot them?” Roof chuckled again and answered, “Yes.”
The 22-year-old added, “What I did is still minuscule to what they’re doing to White people every day.” He admitted that he opened fire with a Glock .45-caliber pistol and fired 70 rounds that night in June 2015. Roof also told the FBI agent that he researched his target and went on the killing spree because Blacks were raping White women. When asked how he felt that he took nine people’s lives, the mass murderer began to express a little remorse, saying, “Well, it makes me feel bad.”
Earlier this week, Roof’s mother suffered a heart attack after prosecutors laid out for the court how her son plotted the murders. Sources say that other than admitting to targeting the Charleston church, Roof has sat stone-faced and rarely looked at the victims’ families who suffered the most following the massacre.
Felicia Sanders, one of the survivors of the shooting, was so emotional during her testimony on Wednesday that court personnel, including members of the prosecution and defense, were crying with her.
Roof has pleaded not guilty to 33 federal accounts, including hate crimes resulting in death and obstruction of exercise of religion resulting in death. He also faces a state trial, set for early next year, in which he may also face the death penalty.