The suspect who slaughtered 9 members of a Bible study group in Charleston, S.C. has been arrested.
Police say Dylann Storm Roof, 21, of Columbia, S.C. was arrested in Shelby, N.C.
Roof entered the historic black church in Charleston, S.C. around 8 p.m. Wednesday night. Survivors of the massacre say Roof sat in the pews praying with about 12 members of the church for an hour before opening fire.
Six females and 3 males were killed in the senseless massacre on Wednesday night. One of the victims was the pastor of the church and state Senator Clementa C. Pinckney. 12 people were in the church when the gunman entered at around 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Police believe the attack was racially motivated.
One of the survivors quoted Roof as saying “I have to do it. You’re raping our women and taking over the country. You have to go.”
Roof was previously arrested on April 26 and charged with trespassing. His father gave him a .45 caliber handgun for his birthday.
Many of his Facebook friends are black. An uncle recognized his nephew from surveillance photos on the news. He described Roof as “quiet and soft-spoken,” according to Reuters.
After the shooting, Roof fled the church in a black Hundai, license plate LGF 300.
The gunman reportedly allowed survivors to leave the church so they could tell people what he had done.
Roof's crime may qualify for the death penalty.
President Barack Obama is expected to make a statement about the church shootings.