Updated Friday, June 19, 10:10 a.m. EDT: Dylan Storm Roof told authorities that he “almost didn’t go through” with the horrific shooting spree at a South Carolina church Wednesday night “because everyone was so nice to him,” sources told NBC News.
Despite the welcome he received at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Roof concluded that he had to “go through with his mission,” killing nine people as he opened fire during the late-night prayer meeting.
Dylann Storm Roof has confessed to the horrific massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., according to officials Friday, CNN reports.
According to the report, the 21-year-old white gunman told investigators that he wanted to start a race war when he opened fire on a prayer meeting Wednesday, killing nine people, including state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, who was also pastor of the church.
Roof reportedly bought the .45-caliber handgun used in the shooting at a Charleston gun store, officials told CNN. However, Roof’s roommate, Dalton Tyler, told ABC News that Roof’s parents bought him the gun.
Tyler suspected that the alleged South Carolina gunman had been “planning something like that for six months,” ABC News reports.
Tyler said he saw Roof just last week and has known Roof for about a year. “He was big into segregation and other stuff,” Tyler told ABC News. “He said he wanted to start a civil war. He said he was going to do something like that and then kill himself.”
A childhood friend of the suspect, Joseph Meek Jr., told the Associated Press, according to The Independent, that Roof had reconnected with him on Facebook and gone on about the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Freddie Gray.
“He said blacks were taking over the world. Someone needed to do something about it for the white race,” Meek said. “He said he wanted segregation between whites and blacks. I said, ‘That’s not the way it should be.’ But he kept talking about it.”
Tyler told ABC News that while Roof's parents had bought him a gun, he had never been allowed to take it with him until this past week.
Roof was successfully taken into custody Thursday morning after being apprehended during a traffic stop. There was an extradition hearing later that day that lasted all of 10 minutes after the suspect reportedly waived his right to counsel, according to an assistant clerk in North Carolina, the Associated Press reported, with Roof being returned to South Carolina to either represent himself or hire his own lawyer.
The alleged killer was flown to South Carolina Thursday evening, escorted by heavy security, and was booked into the Charleston County Jail, according to the New York Times. He is expected to appear in court for a bond hearing Friday.