Federal Jury Finds Dylann Roof Guilty of Charleston Church Shooting

A federal jury has found Dylann Roof guilty in the horrific Charleston massacre that took place at a Charleston, S.C. church in 2015. Roof’s sentence was read on Thursday (DEC15) and he was found guilty on all 33 counts that he faced, including hate crimes.

Roof stunned the nation when he entered Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston during a Bible study and suddenly began to open fire during their final prayer. He didn’t immediately begin his attack- he sat and worshipped with his victims for almost an hour before beginning his killing spree. By the end of it all, 9 people were dead.

When questioned by the FBI about the motivation behind his crime, he explained that he “”had to” commit the crime because “no one else was brave enough,” and explained to the agents that he believed white people “already are the second-class citizens”,” according to NPR. He also flat out admitted to the crime, telling agents “I am guilty. We all know I’m guilty.”

Roof has asked to represent himself in the sentencing phase of the trial and federal prosecutors are seeking the death sentence. He is also facing separate charges brought against him by the state of South Carolina, who is also seeking the death penalty.

The Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, shared her thoughts on the ruling via social media:

The sentencing phase of Roof’s federal trial is scheduled to begin January 3, when the same jurors who convicted him will decide whether or not he’ll receive life in prison or death.