Fourth Estate Staff
Charleston, SC, United States (4E) – Dylann Roof was sentenced to death by the jurors on Tuesday weeks after he was found guily of the 33 counts stemming from his attack on the churchgoers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church killing a total of nine African-Americans.
The jury consisted of nine whites and three blacks. Reports say that the jury returned their unanimous verdict after deliberating for three hours. When the verdict was announced, Roof showed no expression.
Roof represented himself during the sentencing phase of the case. He never called witnesses or presented evidence as well as put up defense for himself. He only convinced the jury that he is not mentally ill.
Evidence produced by the prosecutors includes a manifesto written by Roof while in jail after being arrested noting that he killed them and that he felt no remorse of killing the innocent people. It was also found out that he listed a number of churches that were attended by African Americans.
Roof showed up at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 17, 2015 and was offered a seat for a Bible study by one of the victims. He sat quietly for 45 minutes and later started shooting using his .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun, which was bought months before and was smuggled into the church via a waist pouch. There were more than 70 shots and a total of seven magazines used in the attack.
Roof spared one of the three survivors in the attack and told her he would not kill her so she could tell the story. He said that he believed officers will be waiting outside for him when he stepped out and that he saved ammunition to commit suicide.
However, officers were on their way when he finished with his attack so he got into his black Hyundai Elantra . A florist saw his car in Shelby, North Carolina and alerted the authorities. When officers got to where he was, he did not resist arrested, admitted that he was involved in the shootings, and showed them the murder weapon under a pillow placed on the back seat of the car.
His family said in a statement that they would struggle as long as they live to understand why Roof, 22, committed “this horrible attack, which caused so much pain to so many good people.”
One of the relatives of the victims also said that Roof deserved the death penalty.
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