Authorities arrested Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof in Shelby, North Carolina, Thursday, according to local media reports. Roof stands accused of shooting and killing nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church Wednesday night.
Roof was arrested at approximately 11:15 a.m. ET on a stretch of highway in Shelby, North Carolina after a bystander alerted police to suspicious activity in his vehicle. Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said Roof was “cooperative” with the arresting officer and that Roof likely acted alone when he allegedly opened fire at the church.
“That awful person, that terrible human being who would go into a place of worship where people were praying and kill them is now in custody, where he will always remain,” Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley said at a press conference Thursday. Live coverage on Roof's arrest and the deadly Charleston shooting's aftermath can be viewed here, courtesy of WCSC.
Mullen said the investigation was still ongoing and declined to provide information on what weapon was used in the shooting, or if authorities had recovered a weapon during the arrest. He praised the “unparalleled cooperation” between state and federal agencies, including the FBI and the ATF, that worked together to locate and apprehend Roof. The 21-year-old shooting suspect will remain in custody in Shelby, where federal officials will begin preliminary interviews with him.
Riley said he received phone calls from both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, each of whom expressed condolences to the victims’ families and offered federal assistance to the Charleston community. Charleston city officials have started the “Mother Emanuel Hope Fund” to aid the victim’s families and made a contribution of $5,000.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley gave an emotional address after Roof’s arrest, thanking authorities and Riley for their leadership in the shooting’s aftermath.
“We woke up today and the heart and soul of South Carolina was broken. We have some grieving to do and we have so pain that we have to go through,” Haley said.