Following a shooting that claimed the lives of nine Charleston churchgoers last June, gunman Dylann Roof has been found guilty of all 33 charges filed against him today.
Charges filed against Roof include nine counts of hate crime-related murder, three counts of attempted murder, an additional nine charges of obstructing exercise of religion resulting in death, and three more obstruction of religious expression with intent to kill, and nine charges of lethal use of a firearm.
Upon being questioned by officers eighteen months ago, Roof confessed that he was driven to commit the mass shooting due to his own white supremacist motivations, giving the following statement:
“Well I had to do it because somebody had to do something because, you know, black people are killing white people every day on the streets, and they rape white women, 100 white women a day. The fact of the matter is what I did is so minuscule to what they’re doing to white people every day, all the time.”
Upon being asked why he targeted a church, Roof explained that he wanted his actions to incite a reaction, saying:
“Well it’s like this, you see, I’m not in the position […] to go into like a black neighborhood […] and shoot up, you know, drug dealers or something like that. […] That’s not going to do anything. You see what I’m saying. I had to go somewhere else.”
A jury will reconvene on January 3rd to decide whether or not Roof will receive the death penalty.