CofCC deeply saddened by Charleston spree killing
The perpetrator of the Charleston spree killing has been arrested. The suspect is 21 year old Dylann Storm Roof. The shooter was targeting blacks out of racial hatred. A victim of the shooting says that Roof expressed anger over black on white rape. However, he killed more black women than black men. He had previously been arrested twice while engaging in extremely suspicious activity at the Columbiana Centre, a popular mall, in Columbia, SC. These arrests took place last February and April.
At least three close friends of the shooter have told media that Roof told them he planned to launch some kind of attack. One of the friends says that Roof even told him the date it would occur.
He was also allegedly abusing anti-depressants and other drugs. He had a pending felony drug charge for Suboxone, meth, LSD, and cocaine. The 21 year old was a lone wolf that is not believed to have ever been a member of an organization. Friends say he was never active in politics and had lots of black friends in High School.
Roof also has a Facebook page created earlier in 2015. He had over 80 Facebook friends and 25% of them are black. The media is focused on a picture uploaded May 21st that shows Roof with patches on his jacket representing the old flag of South Africa, and the old flag of Rhodesia. It is unclear what caused Roof to go on the shooting spree. It seems that Roof’s interest in racial politics started only very recently.
It is a relief that the perpetrator has been caught. However, the loss of nine lives is devastating. It could also have severe consequences in terms of race relations in the US in general, and South Carolina in particular. The attack was similar to when ISIS bombs Shiite mosques. It is to incite the other side to retaliate and create a situation where the violence between the two sides spirals out of control.
We pray, for the sake of all Americans, that there will not be an escalation of racial tension.