SHELBY, N.C. (MEDIA GENERAL/WLNS) – Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof, 21, has been apprehended by law enforcement officials in Shelby, North Carolina.
“I can confirm that there is a subject in custody in relation to the shootings in Charleston from last evening,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a news conference. “And, of course, this moves us into a different phase of the investigation, which will be pursued as vigorously and with as complete cooperation as the apprehension of this individual.”
Roof is accused of killing nine people in a shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina late Wednesday, June 17, 2015.
The incident is being treated as a hate crime.
A survivor of the incident passed on details to the church pastor’s cousin, Sylvia Johnson, who spoke with WIS-TV.
According to Johnson, Rev. Clementa Pinckney was seated next to the shooter, who sat through a Bible study meeting.
Witnesses say the suspect stood up and said he was there “to shoot black people.”
“At the conclusion of the Bible study, from what I understand, they just start hearing loud noises ringing out,” Johnson told WIS-TV.
A survivor told other media outlets that the shooter said, “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”
According to the survivor, the gunman reloaded five times while victims tried to talk him out of firing more shots.
The suspect killed six women and three men.
The identities of the victims have yet to be released, however multiple outlets have confirmed Rev. Pinckney, who also was a state Senator, is among the deceased.
Police say three others survived.
Police were tipped off to Roof’s whereabouts when a North Carolina citizen reportedly recognized the suspect’s car and called authorities.
Local police made a traffic stop in Shelby, North Carolina, and Roof was taken into custody without incident.
Said Charleston Police Chief Gregory Mullen: “I am so pleased we were able to resolve this case quickly.”
First reported by The Post and Courier, Roof was out on bond in connection to recent arrests on drug and trespassing charges.