Charleston church shooting

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The Charleston church shooting (also known as the Charleston church massacre) was a mass shooting in which Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist, armed with a Glock 41 .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, murdered nine African Americans (including the senior pastor, state senator Clementa C. Pinckney) during a prayer service at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, on the evening of June 17, 2015. Three other victims survived. The morning after the attack, police arrested Roof in Shelby, North Carolina. Roof confessed to committing the shooting in the hope of igniting a race war. The shooting targeted one of the United States' oldest black churches, which has long been a site for community organization around civil rights.



  • On Thursday, investigators did a trace of the handgun used in Wednesday's shooting and determined that it was a .45-caliber handgun Roof purchased from a Charleston gun store in April, two law enforcement officials told CNN's Perez and Bruer.
    Roof purchased a Glock .45-caliber model 41, which holds 13 rounds, a federal law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation said. Witnesses have reported that Roof reloaded a number of times.
  • Shooting: Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina
    Date: June 18, 2015
    Suspect: Dylann Roof
    Gun: .45-caliber Glock. Roof killed nine people and injured one.
    How he got it: A flaw in the FBI’s background check system allowed Roof to buy the handgun at a South Carolina store eight days after his 21st birthday. When the gun dealer asked the FBI for approval to sell the gun to Roof, the bureau noted that he’d recently been arrested and exercised its three-day investigation period to get more information. Two days later, an FBI agent found that Roof had not been convicted of the felony drug possession charge, so an immediate denial was not merited. She tried to contact the appropriate police department for more information, but because of a jurisdictional issue the agent couldn’t get the police report in time to make the three-day deadline. Had she gotten the report, she would have seen that Roof had admitted to drug possession, which would have kept him from obtaining the weapon.


  • In the last nine years, Glocks have figured prominently in at least five mass shootings. In 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at Virginia Tech University, used a Glock 19 and Walther P22 to kill 32 people and wound 17 others in two separate attacks on campus. The Glock 19 is a smaller pistol that is easier to conceal. Three years later, Jared Lee Loughner used a Glock 19 to shoot 20 people in Arizona, gravely wounding US Representative Gabrielle Giffords and killing six others, including a nine-year-old girl.
    In 2013, Pedro Vargas went on a shooting rampage inside his apartment complex in Hialeah, Florida. With his Glock 17, Vargas murdered six people and held two neighbors hostage during an eight-hour stand-off until a SWAT team stormed the building and killed him.
    On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof killed nine people with a .45-caliber Glock pistol at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Two months later, Vester Lee Flanagan II shot and killed a Roanoke, Virginia, television reporter and a cameraman with a Glock 19 during a live news broadcast.
  • Then Felicia Sanders heard the first startling boom, she said, as Dylann S. Roof removed a Glock .45-caliber handgun from his fanny pack and methodically shot one African-American worshiper after the next, nine in all, starting with the pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney.
  • Mr. Roof, 21 at the time, told the agents he was astonished to find the church parking lot not swarming with police when he exited a side door at 9:06 p.m. on June 17, 2015. He said he had saved one of eight magazines for his Glock semiautomatic handgun, loaded with hollow-point bullets bought at Walmart, so he could kill himself if confronted by the police....
    A final scene from the security camera showed Mr. Roof exiting the church’s side door, holding the Glock at his right side and driving off in his black Hyundai Elantra.
  • Armed with a .45 Glock semi-automatic handgun, he loaded 88 bullets into eight magazines for the attack.
    Eighty-eight is a symbolic number for neo-Nazis, standing for Heil Hitler because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
    Most of the bullets were fired into an 87-year-old parishioner, Susie Jackson, who received 11 shots to her body.
  • “He executed them because he believes they are nothing but animals,” prosecutor Nathan Williams said in his closing argument, addressing a somber jury that had seen crime-scene photos of all the dead, including Susie Jackson, 87, the oldest victim, into whom Roof had emptied an entire 11-round magazine from his Glock .45-caliber pistol....
    During the trial, prosecutors documented Roof’s meticulous planning in the seven months leading up to the killings. Data collected from his GPS showed that he had made at least six trips to Charleston, visiting historic plantations and studying the church. He videotaped himself on several occasions taking target practice with his Glock in the back yard of his home.


  • JUNE 17, 2015 Dylann Roof, 21, killed nine people with a .45-caliber Glock pistol at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C.
    FEBRUARY 2015 Mr. Roof was charged with a misdemeanor for possessing Suboxone, a prescription drug frequently sold in illegal street transactions.
    APRIL 2015 He purchased a gun from a store in West Columbia, S.C. Mr. Roof should have been barred from buying a gun because he had admitted to possessing drugs, but the F.B.I. examiner conducting the required background check failed to obtain the police report from the February incident.
    JUNE 17, 2015 Mr. Roof joined a Bible study group at Emanuel A.M.E. Church and opened fire with the gun he bought in April.

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