‘Not Even One Word,’ Roof to FBI Agents on Emanuel Shooting
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Dylann Roof told FBI agents he wasn’t sure how many people he shot inside Emanuel AME Church in the early minutes of a recorded two-hour interview.
“I didn’t say anything to them before I pulled it out, not even one word,” Roof told FBI agents shortly after he was captured by Shelby police.
Roof was also unclear about how long he spent in the church basement before opening fire. He knew it was a bible study class, but was not clear on how long he was there. He estimated 15 minutes.
Jurors will hear nearly two hours of recorded video footage on Friday from the man who perpetrated the attack on Emanuel AME Church last year.
U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson says he intends to spend three hours with the FBI agent who interviewed Dylann Roof less than a day after the shooting in Charleston.
The video may answer questions about Roof’s route to North Carolina, a less-than-five-hour trip that took nearly 13 hours, and give more insight into his motivations for the attack.
On Thursday, jurors last heard from the Shelby police officers who spotted Roof’s black Hyundai on Highway 74 headed towards the North Carolina foothills on the morning of June 18.
One officer told jurors Roof was compliant, and followed commands from officers. He identified himself first as Dylann Roof and then as the man who carried out the attack on Mother Emanuel.
When officers pulled out his identification, a movie stub was stuck to it, one officer noted.
Also on Thursday, jurors got a 3D view of the crime scene at Emanuel’s fellowship hall. The scenes of blood, bodies, and gunshot damage was shown for more than 30 minutes as State Law Enforcement Division crime scene investigator Britany Burke testified to her role in the investigation.
Shell casings and empty magazines were strewn around the room.
Jurors were given the chance to see Roof walk into the church shortly after 8 p.m. on the night of the shooting through surveillance videos. They then saw him leave the church with the Glock 45 in his hand some 52 minutes later.
A motion for a mistrial on the grounds that Felicia Sanders’s heartbreaking testimony was damaging to Roof because she classified him as “evil” and said the only place for him was the “pit of hell” revealed Roof’s mother suffered a heart attack in the courtroom during opening statements.
She was wheeled out of the courthouse on a stretcher and taken to a nearby hospital on the first day of the trial. She did not return on Thursday.
Roof is charged with 33 counts, including hate crimes and crimes against religious practice, for the shooting that left nine people dead in one of the country’s most historic black churches.