Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who shot and killed 9 black members of a church in Charleston, South Carolina, was sentenced to death by a federal jury. Roof, 22, was convicted in December of all 33 federal charges against him and faced either life in prison or execution for the killings on June 17, 2015 at Emanuel AME Church
The condemned murderer took a .45 caliber handgun that was given to him by his father and is the South’s oldest black church, one that traces its roots back to 1816. Roof sat with a Bible study group for about 45 minutes and, during the final prayer when everyone’s eyes were closed, he opened fire.
He was unrelenting in his belief that it was necessary in order to achieve his goal, which was to start a race war. However, he gave the jury a more than a little cryptic explanation, one that obviously didn’t suffice.
“I told them [FBI] I had to do it. Obviously that’s not true. Nobody made me do it,” he told jurors in his last chance to plead for his life. “I still feel like I had to do it. I have the right to ask you to give me a life sentence, but I’m not sure what good it would do anyway.”
The shooting took place at approximately 9 p.m. (local) ET and three people survived the attack.
“Justice was served,” said Kevin Singleton, whose mother, Myra Thompson, was killed. “It still doesn’t change anything for the families, but I hope it can be a deterrent in the future.”