Dylann Roof admits he did it, two law enforcement officials said — shooting and killing nine people he’d sat with for Bible study at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
But why? To start a race war, Roof told investigators, according to one of the officials.
CNN’s Evan Perez and Wesley Bruer were the first to report Roof’s confessing and offering his divisive rationale. Others earlier gave a glimpse into his twisted motivations — including at the site of the shooting, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. There, a survivor told Sylvia Johnson that Roof answered one man’s pleas to stop by saying, “No, you’ve raped our women, and you are taking over the country … I have to do what I have to do.”
His roommate told ABC News that Roof was “big into segregation.” And the Berkeley County, South Carolina, government tweeted a picture of him wearing a jacket with flags from apartheid-era South Africa and nearby Rhodesia, a former British colony that was ruled by a white minority until it became independent in 1980.