Dylann Roof and the Emmanuel AME Church Shooting


© AP

Dylan Roof being escorted to his court hearing in his prison uniform.

Abigail Ingram, Staff Writer

During the U.S. District Court ruling in Charleston South Carolina, the jury convicted Dylann Roof guilty for the church shooting and came to a unanimous decision that he would be sentenced to death. In 2015 Dylann Roof entered the doors of Emmanuel AME Church as the members welcomed him in. He then began shooting as the church was conducting their weekly Bible study. Nine Africa American people were killed in this incident, as Dylan Roof purposely targeted them, saying he wanted to start a hate and race war across America. Police didn’t have Roof in custody until after he had already fled the church.

For the past year, Roof’s case has been on-going, as the families have had time to grieve and cope with the harsh reality of tragedy that occurred. After a year of deliberation and listening to countless testimonies against Roof, the jury has come to a decision to sentence him with the death penalty. The family of Roof has spoken out to the media as well as the families of the victims directly and said “We will continue to pray for the Emmanuel AME families and the Charleston community,” as well as “We will struggle as long as we live to understand why he committed this horrible attack, which caused so much pain to so many good people.”

Apart from his family, Roof has expressed no sympathy for his actions or regret for taking the lives of innocent people. In the court room he gave his closing statement asking for the jury to show him mercy even though he has shown none himself; Roof has accepted the label of a “white supremacist” even though he claims to not be filled with hatred toward other races.

He then proceeded to tell the jury that if they wish the death penalty upon him, then they are in fact the ones filled with hate and not him, later saying, “Anyone who hates anything, in their mind has a good reason for it. And sometimes that’s because they’ve been misled and sometimes it isn’t. But I would say that in this case the prosecution, along with anyone else who hates me, are the ones who have been misled.”

After his conviction and the court ruled him to be executed, he said, “I felt like I had to do it. I still feel like I had to do it.” With so many questions left un answered for his family, the victims’ families, the survivors and America will forever question his sanity and what really led Roof to commit this horrendous crime.