June 17, 2015
Charleston, South Carolina
A gunman later identified as Dylann Storm Roof (21) shoots worshippers at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, killing 9 and injuring 1
Roof had initially attended the service but disagreed with some of the church’s interpretation of the Scripture. On June 17, pulled a .45-caliber handgun from his fanny pack, and began shooting, saying “Y’all want something to pray about? I’ll give you something to pray about.” He spent approximately six minutes shooting, and reloaded five times.
Roof shot and killed 9 churchgoers (ages 26-87) and injured another, sparing a woman specifically so she could describe the events of the shooting. He pulled the gun on himself, but fled when he found he was out of ammunition. A grandmother and her 5-year-old granddaughter survived by feigning death and three others survived unharmed.
Roof’s father and uncle positively identified him from security footage. He freely confessed to the murders, claiming a desire to incite a race war.
Roof was convicted in federal courts on December 15, 2016, and sentenced to death. Several of the victims’ family members have publicly forgiven and are reportedly praying for him.