On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof entered one of America’s historic black churches in South Carolina and began firing away at every church goer within his firearm’s sites. Imagine, as a religious person or someone who frequently attends church, the horror of going to a place of worship only to be shot down by an out-of-control gunman; and how the family, friends, and all the people that were in some way connected with these people felt at the news of this tragic event. A trial has been at work ever since the incident and at last, are reaching an agreement.
Twenty-one year old Dylann Roof is the white supremacist responsible for the shooting at the Emanuel African Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. This unfortunate event is best known as the CharlestonChurch Massacre. Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is over 200 years old and one of the oldest black churches in the United States. It was previously used for
organizing civil-rights related events and movements. The shootout began after the soon-to-be victims invited Roof to join them in a bible study. Soon after that point, Roof stood up and began to fire away at his hosts. He left the scene having shot ten people, nine of them perished at the scene, and only three people left the scene alive overall. Polly Shepard, one of the ladies that was spared, recalled that after shooting her acquaintances, Roof looked directly at her, and said, “I’m going to leave you to tell the story.”
The following morning, the gunman was caught in Shelby, North Carolina. Recently, in Roof’s trial, he claimed, “There’s nothing wrong with me psychologically” and that the purpose of his actions was to cause a race war. “I had to do it because somebody had to. Blacks are raping and killing white people on the streets everyday,” said Roof.
At Roof’s trial, the judge called upon several of the victims’ family members to attend the trial and preach lessons of forgiveness to Roof. However, Roof’s facial expression remained blank and adamant throughout every moment of sorrow. Despite the forgiveness granted to him by the families of the victims, the government strived to sentence Roof to death on behalf of thirty-three federal hate crime charges, nine accounts of murder in the State of South Carolina, and mass murder. As of Tuesday, January 10, 2017, Dylann Roof was sentenced to death. The thought that these sort of people live among us today sadden, scare, and disgust many people.
Always Remember: Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Clementa C. Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman- Singleton, and Myra Thompson
By Jazz Khokar