A jury on Thursday convicted Dylann Roof of gunning down nine people at a black church in Charleston, S.C. The jury rejected Roof’s mental health defense.
Roof admitted entering the Emanuel AME Church on June, 17, 2015 intent on committing mass murder.
“I went to that church in Charleston and I did it,” Roof told police investigators after a brief manhunt ended in his capture on June 18, 2015.
Roof said he wanted to kill black people to avenge the deaths of white people.
“Black people are killing white people everyday. What I did is so minuscule compared to what they do to white people every day,” he said.
“Somebody had to do it,” he added.
Police discovered a list of historic black churches in Roof’s black Hyundai sedan when he was pulled over on a freeway in Shelby, N.C.
AME Church members had welcomed Roof to join their bible study in the church’s basement. After praying with the bible study group, Roof opened fire, killing nine.
“He walked into the church with murder in his heart,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Curran said in court. “That’s why, when they closed in prayer, he shot them dead.”
Roof told investigators he was surprised to see no one outside the church when he left after committing mass murder.
Roof faces a possible death sentence.