Shooter Dylann Storm Roof's Friends: He's a Pill-Popping, Gun-Toting Loner Who 'Made Racist Comments'
Dylann Storm Roof's friends and family open up to INSIDE EDITION about his past, and what may have driven him to open fire on Charleston church members.
He made no secret of his hate. Twenty-one-year-old Dylann Storm Roof's Facebook photo shows him in a leather jacket with patches of apartheid-era South Africa and the African nation of Rhodesia when it was ruled by whites.
In one shot, he posed straddling a license plate with the Confederate flag.
Among the dead, the pastor of Emanuel A.M.E. Church, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who was also a state senator.
Pinckney's cousin, Sylvia Johnson, told INSIDE EDITION what the shooter said before he opened fire: "You all rape our women, and now you've taken the country. This has to go through. I have to do this," she said.
Six women and three men lost their lives. There are also stunning stories of survival.
In a 911 call, a dispatcher was heard saying, "We got two people coming out, an adult female and a child. They were found in a room. They need to get checked out."
The shooter reportedly asked for the pastor, then sat next to him in a Bible study group for an hour before opening fire. He allowed one woman to live so she could tell the world about what he had done. A five-year-old girl lived after her grandmother told her to play dead.
Northeastern University Professor Jack Levin is a specialist in hate crimes. "This is a perpetrator who feels that his privileged position in society has been eroded by the presence of black Americans," he told INSIDE EDITION.
Roof reportedly reloaded five times before fleeing the church. We're learning that he was given a .45-caliber pistol by his father as a 21st birthday present just two months ago.
Roof was known by his circle of acquaintances as a "pill popper.”
Adam Martin was a classmate at White Knoll High School in Lexington, South Carolina. "Pills, I mean if I'm being honest with you, that's what I heard, were his drug of choice. Xanax..." he told INSIDE EDITION.
"Other people I've talked to said they've heard him say racist comments," he said.
He was arrested in February on drug charges at a mall near his home in Columbia, South Carolina. According to the police report, Roof was dressed all in black, going store-to-store, asking, "out of the ordinary questions," like, "How many (people) were working" there and "What time (did) they leave?" giving rise to speculation that he may have been planning a mall massacre.
Roof was searched by cops and found to be carrying Suboxone, a powerful drug used to help addicts through withdrawl.
After being banned from the mall, he was spotted there again in April and charged with trespassing. A massive manhunt started within minutes of the shooting spree Wednesday night.
The F.B.I. identified Roof after a childhood friend recognized him in surveillance video that was released to the public. Roof had worn the same, grey sweatshirt while playing X-Box video games at the friend's home.The friend also recognized his distictive, pageboy haircut.
He was on the lam for almost 15 hours and arrested just before noon Thursday, 225 miles from Charleston, in Shelby, North Carolina.
"He was stopped because a citizen alerted law enforecement to a suspicious activity," said Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen.
His uncle described Roof this way: "He was like 19 years old, he still didn't have a job, a driver's licence, or anything like that and he just stayed in his room a lot of the time."
"Most likely, the perpetrator is a young man who has suffered chronically with depression and frustration. He blames other people for his personal problems. He may be socially isolated."
A sick mind apparently overcome by hate and hell bent on violence.
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