Dylann Roof, the alleged gunman in the Charleston church shooting, told police that he “almost didn’t go through with it because everyone was so nice to him.”
Roof joined a group of a dozen or so parishioners attending a Bible study at Emanuel AME, a historic African-American church in South Carolina. He was welcomed into this intimate gathering, and given the seat beside the pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney.
A haunting Snapchat video filmed by 26-year-old Tywanza “Wanza” Sanders, one of the attending parishioners who died attempting to shield his aunt, depicts the last few moments of the nine lives that were taken that day. The group sits around a table strewn with books and papers, talking. A white, light-haired man can be seen at the far right end of the table. This is believed to be Roof himself.
He sat with them for over an hour before allegedly opening fire, killing six women and three men, the pastor among them.
Roof says he decided to go through with his “mission,” that he “had to do it,” according to reports. He told a survivor that black people were “[raping] our women” and “taking over our country,” that they “had to go.” It is believed that he wanted to start “a race war,” and that he let one woman live so that she could spread his word.