Last night around 9pm, a 21-year-old White male, now identified as Dylann Storm Roof, walked into the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. There he killed eight people. A ninth died at the hospital later. Here is what we know so far.
Surveillance footage captured images of Roof as he entered the church last night. He spent roughly an hour there during the congregants’ evening prayer meeting and Bible study before opening fire on them. Buzzfeed is reporting that the suspect’s uncle identified him as the gunman from the footage. They have also reported on images on Facebook of Roof wearing White Supremacist paraphernalia. Apparently, Roof was arrested in February in connection with drug charges.
News is now emerging regarding the six women and three male victims of the terrorist attack on Emanuel AME Church. Amongst those killed were the church paster and South Carolina state senator, Reverend Clementa Pinckney. He was a very prominent member of the community who fought for issues facing African American residents in Charleston.
Of the women killed, Sharonda Singleton, a mother and coach of the local high school track team, lost her life. The community has issued an outpouring of support for her family.
Twitter has been reacting to this event since it transpired last night. While expressing anger about the massacre itself, these sentiments also indict the structures in America which made this event possible.
News reports this morning indicate that Roof was apprehended, alive and well, this morning in Shelby, North Carolina.
Jenn M. Jackson is the Editorial Assistant for The Black Youth Project. She is also the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Water Cooler Convos, a politics, news, and culture webmag for bourgie Black nerds. For more about her, tweet her at @JennMJack or visit her website at jennmjackson.com.