South Carolina church shooting suspect got gun for birthday, uncle says: Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old identified by the FBI as the suspect in Wednesday’s church shooting in South Carolina, was given a gun by his father as a 21st birthday present in April, his uncle, Carson Cowles, told Reuters on Thursday.
Cowles said Roof’s father gave him a .45-caliber pistol for his birthday this year.
FBI identifies the suspect as 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof: According to local media reports cited by Reuters, federal investigators have identified the suspected gunman as Dylann Storm Roof.
According to Roof’s Facebook page, he lives in Columbia, S.C., and attended White Knoll High School in Lexington. In his profile photo, Roof is wearing a jacket with emblazoned with the flags of Rhodesia, an unrecognized South African state that later became part of Zimbabwe, and apartheid-era South Africa. Here is that profile photo:
What we know so far:
- 9 people were killed in a shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., Wednesday night.
- FBI has identified suspect as 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof.
- Roof is described as a young white male, approximately 5’9″ and has a slender build.
- A massive manhunt for the gunman is under way.
- Police are treating the shooting as a hate crime.
- Gunman attended a bible study class at the church for about an hour before opening fire, officials said.
- The names of the victims have not been released, but S.C. State Sen. Clementa Pinckney is said to be among dead.