It took a jury only two hours to find Dylann Roof guilty of multiple charges connected to the deadly shooting of nine people in a South Carolina A.M.E. church.
Roof, 22, was convicted of nine counts of hate crimes resulting in death, three counts of hate crimes involving an attempt to kill, nine counts of obstructing the exercise of religion resulting in death, three counts of that charge with an attempt to kill, and nine counts of using a firearm to commit murder during a crime of violence, according to the New York Times.
“We were overjoyed that the jury saw fit to give us this triumph,” said the Rev. Sharon Risher, Ethel Lee Lance Lance’s eldest daughter. “It gives us an opportunity to start the healing process and we just thank God.”
Following video footage of him entering the church, a recorded confession and a disturbing manifesto released online, the guilty verdict was long expected. However, the jury will reconvene next month to decide if he’ll be sentenced to life in prison or the death penalty.
Roof sent a shockwave through America in June 2015 when he walked into Charleston’s historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and sat with everyone in attendance for bible study. About an hour later, he opened fire on the unsuspecting churchgoers for more than 60 seconds as they hid under tables. By the end, nine were dead with three survivors.
The massacre sparked a rage in many people given that Roof’s motivations were clearly racial after he’d pledged allegiance to white supremacy on multiple occasions.
The jury will reconvene on January 3rd to determine his sentence.