2015 Charleston Church Shooting

2015 Charleston Church Shooting

Updated Dec 11, 2018 at 02:02PM EST by Matt.

Added Jun 18, 2015 at 01:22PM EDT by Brad.

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Charleston Church Shooting refers to a mass murder by a lone gunman that resulted in the deaths of nine churchgoers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina on the evening of June 17th, 2015. Due to the racially charged nature of the shooting, as all nine victims were black and the suspect identified as a young white male, the act was widely condemned as an act of hate crime in the news and social media.


On the night of June 17th, 2015, a lone shooter embedded among the prayers suddenly opened fire in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the oldest black congregations in the Southern United States, during a Bible study session, killing six women and three men all of whom were identified as black. Among those dead at the scene was Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney, the church's senior pastor and Democratic state senator.

Notable Developments

Official Responses

In the immediate aftermath, the Charleston Police Department responded by declaring the assault as an act of hate crime and launching a manhunt of a suspect described by witnesses as a young white man wearing a gray sweatshirt and jeans. The police also released photographs of the suspect from surveillance footage, a youthful looking white man with bowl-shape cut blonde hair, and other details surrounding the shooter at large. In addition to the local authorities' operation, the F.B.I., the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for South Carolina also launched a joint investigation into the shooting.

Charleston P.D. CharlestonPD Follow Anyone with information about shooting on Calhoun Street call dispatch at 743 7200 South Carolina, USA 757EETS FAVORITES 週週磐咧目画 8:58 PM-17 Jun 2015 15 8:16:58 WED Cameral

In the following hours of the tragedy, President Barack Obama (shown below) and many other public figures, including more than a dozen of prospective candidates for the upcoming 2016 U.S. presidential election, condemned the attack as a despicable act of hate crime. By early morning on June 19th, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley had issued a statement affirming the state's intention to seek the death penalty against Roof.

Online Reaction

Meanwhile on Twitter and elsewhere online, many pointed out what they perceived as a racial bias in the official and news media description of mass murder suspects, as well as inappropriateness of the Confederate flag flying at the South Carolina State House in Columbia.

Sailor Goon @catalytic92 Follow Y'all. These "black leaders* telling black people to be peaceful like we're the ones doing the shootings. gtf. #CharlestonShooting わt3 ★ 。.. Chase Madar @ChMadar Follow Governor who flies Confederate flag at SC capitol says "we'll never understand what motivates' Charleston massacre : gu.com/p/49qkx/stw#bl.. . Stephen Anfield @StephenAnfield Follow Privilege: committing a crime and having your #CharlestonShooting White male Approx. 21-25 years old Sandy blonde hair 5'9" Slender build Wearing: gray sweatshirt, blue jeans, & boots. BREAKING NEWS LIVE CHURCH SHOOTING TIPLINE: 800-CALL-FBI ON 3:28 AM Lexi Alexander Lexialex Follow Just a reminder, this is what a manhunt looks like when the suspect is Muslim:

Suspect's Arrest

On the morning of June 18th, after about 14 hours of an intensive manhunt for the suspect, a 21-year-old man named Dylann Storm Roof was arrested and taken into police custody during a traffic stop on U.S. Route 74 in Shelby, North Carolina. Following his capture, Roof was transferred to Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center in North Charleston that same evening, where he was assigned the cell-block next to Michael Slager, the former North Charleston Police Department officer charged with first-degree murder in the case of Walter Scott's death in early April.

On June 19th, Roof made his first public appearance at a bond hearing in Charleston County courthouse, where he was formally charged with nine counts of murder and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime (shown below). Roof is scheduled to reappear before court on October 23rd, 2015.

Dylann Roof's Brony Hoax

Following Dylann Roof's capture, Twitter user @RaspberryPirate tweeted a photograph of the suspect in police custody that has been partially photoshopped to make it seem as if he were a Brony dressed in a My Little Pony-themed t-shirt featuring an image of Rainbow Dash at the time of his arrest (shown below).

Follow @RaspberryPirate Holy shit tell me that's not what I think it is on his shirt 4:53 PM-18 Jun 2015 わ 281 ★219

On June 20th, the New York Times[12] published an article on the emerging details of Roof's online activities and digital footprint in the social media, which reported that prior to the late discovery of the website, Roof had allegedly posted a similarly worded tirade on a separate Tumblr blog, where he also shared images of 9/11-related memes and My Little Pony fan art, citing an anecdotal account of a 16-year-old British blogger named Benjamin Wareing who claims to have taken notes on the blog post as part of his essay on the impact of Tumblr on youth psyschology. In the following hour, the circumstantial details about Roof's mysterious Tumblr presence were picked up by the Boston Globe[16] and New York Magazine[17] (shown below), shortly before they were redacted from the original articles later that same day.

»oooo vodafone UK 20:02 Dylann Storm Roof Photos and a... mobile.nytimes.com SHARE y TWEET MORE Benjamin Wareing, a blogger in Britain said the writings were nearly identical to blog entries that Mr. Roof posted several months ago on a Tumblr page. Mr. areing was preparing to write an essay on the dangers of Tumblr and troubled youths, so he took notes on the writing:s e just made really stupid but obviou statements about people from other races," Mr. Wareing said in an email "He would call black citizens 'nuggets and such. He never made direct threats at all on Tumblr, at least it didn't seem like that, just weird ramblings about how he felt he 'didn't fit in." Among his writings were images of Sept. 11 "memes" and of "My Little Pony," Mr. Wareing said 00 Sprint 3G 3:42 PM Dylann Storm Roof Photos Found on Website-... www.bostonglobe.com A friend of Roof's, Jacob Meek, 15, said the references to the Trayvon Martin case made clear that Roof had written the essay. "That's his website," he said. "He wrote it, and I just can tell." Benjamin Wareing, a blogger in Britain, said the writings were nearly identical to blog entries that Roof posted several months ago on a Tumblr page. Wareing was preparing to write an essay on the dangers of Tumblr and troubled youths, so he took notes on the writings "He just made really stupid but obvious statements about people from other races," Wareing said in an email. "He would call black citizens 'nuggets' and such. He never made direct threats at all on Tumblr, at least it didn't seem like that, just weird ramblings about how he felt he 'didn't fit in." Among his writings were images of Sept. 11 "memes" and of "My Little Pony," Wareing said Roofs Tumblr had contained photos that matched his Facebook page, but both were taken down after the killings The essay uses defamatory terms for blacks, whom he accused Enjoy your first free article You can now read 5 free articles. Get unlimited access for just 99c. Sign up Subscriber Log In

“He just made really stupid but obvious statements about people from other races,” Mr. Wareing said in an email. “He would call black citizens ‘nuggets’ and such. He never made direct threats at all on Tumblr, at least it didn’t seem like that, just weird ramblings about how he felt he ‘didn’t fit in.’”

Also on June 20th, Benjamin Wareing ran a post titled "Why I Messed With The Biggest News Outlet in The World – A Report" on his website Next Generation Blogs[15], in which the blogger confirmed that the statements he provided to the New York Times reporter were fabricated in its entirety.

We chose to focus on the “Brony” scene of “My Little Pony”, emphasizing the fact that Roof was a major Brony. We also wanted a bit of best modern-day internet can give; memes. We told this idiot of a reporter that Dylann was obsessed with 911 ‘memes’. Of course, we have no way of knowing if this is true. As we expected, the New York Times reporter took to this like a fat kid in a candy store. No questions asked.

Discovery of Manifesto

On June 20th, Twitter user @HenryKrinkle[9] used a reverse domain search service to track down a website believed to have been registered by the 21-year-old suspect and tweeted a link[14] to the page with an open call for someone to unmask its web address for a one-time fee of $49 USD. In less than three hours, the domain of the website in question was identified as LastRhodesian.com by @EMQuangel[10], a blogger who goes by the pen name Emma Quangel.

hm. no. OHenryKrinkle Jun 20 anyone have $49 to throw away? #DylannRoof #CharlestonShooting reversewnois.domaintools.com/?refine#q-U% わt 54 ★89 + ..。 '으 Emma Quangel EMQuangel Follow @HenryKrinkle LASTRHODESIAN.COM RETWEETS FAVORITES 6:50 AM-20 Jun 2015

First registered on February 9th by an individual whose name matches that of the suspect, Dylann Storm Roof, the website[11] features a 2,500-word statement in which the author boasts his allegiance to White supremacist agendas and spews his opinions on several different minority groups, along with a collection of over 60 photographs in which Roof is seen posing at various heritage sites and museums associated with the U.S. Confederacy and slavery of African Americans. In the alleged manifesto, the author also cites the case of Trayvon Martin's death and the subsequent trial of George Zimmerman as his apparent motive behind his attack.

"I have no choice, I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me."

Dylann Roof Fan Arrested

On December 10th, 2018, police arrested 23-year-old Elizabeth Lecron, the founder of a Tumblr page dedicated to Dylann Roof, in Northern Ohio for plotting an act of domestic terrorism (Lecron shown below). Lecron, who had previously visited the Columbine High School, the site of the infamous 1999 school shooting, ran the Tumblr page "CharlestonMiracleMile,"[19] a site named after Roof's attack and dedicated to mass shooters, amongst other things. Additionally, Lecron corresponded with Roof in prison, attempting to send him "Nazi literature."

Authorities say she planned to commit "upscale mass murder" outside of a bar in Toledo, telling her associate that she knew the bar inside and out. Vice[20] reported, "She discussed buying bomb-making materials with an undercover agent, and on Saturday, she purchased two pounds of black powder from a retail sporting good stores, and 665 screws of various sizes from another retailer."

According to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Justin E. Herdman, "[Lecron] bought black powder and hundreds of screws that she expected would be used to make a bomb. Through her words and actions, she demonstrated that she was committed to seeing death and destruction in order to advance hate."

Search Interest

External References

[1] Wikipedia – Charleston Church Shooting

[2] Washington Post – Dylann Roof, suspect in Charleston church shooting, has been captured

[3] CNN – Charleston church shooting: Multiple fatalities in South Carolina, source says

[4] NBC News – Nine Killed at Historic Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina

[5] New York Times – Charleston Church Shooting Suspect, Dylann Storm Roof, Captured

[6] TIME – Everything We Know About the Charleston Shooting

[7] Independent – Charleston shooting: Five-year-old child who 'played dead' among survivors in South Carolina

[8] Twitter – #CharlestonShooting

[9] Twitter – @HenryKrinkle's Tweet

[10] Twitter – @EMQuangel's Tweet

[11] LastRhodesian.com – Original Text (warning: contains disturbing content)

[12] New York Times – Dylann Roof Photos and a Manifesto Are Posted on Website

[13] Gawker – Here Is What Appears to Be Dylann Roof’s Racist Manifesto

[14] DomainTools – Reverse Whois for 'Dylann Storm Roof'

[15] Next Generation Blogs – Why I Messed With The Biggest News Outlet in The World – A Report

[16] New York Magazine – Dylann Roof Made a Website to Explain His Attack

[17] Boston Globe – Dylann Roof photos and a manifesto found on website

[18] Fusion – How a 16-year-old tricked the New York Times into reporting that Dylann Roof blogged about “My Little Pony”

[19] NSFW Tumblr – CharlestonMiracleMile

[20] VICE – Ohio woman arrested for domestic terror plot had been corresponding with Dylann Roof

Recent Videos 6 total

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Top Comments

Mr. Candles
Mr. Candles

Whelp, they found the guy. Apparently it was indeed a hate crime, but less from an organization, and more because just fucking look at the goddamn guy

I might be biased due to new info but I'm pretty sure that's the face of a psychopath.


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