Reported by Liku Zelleke
More details are emerging about the life of the shooting suspect involved in the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston where nine victims lost their lives.
The 5-foot-9-inch, 120 pound, 21-year-old accused gunman, Dylann Storm, flaunted his White supremacist tendencies and was prone to violence. He had the front license plate of his black Hyundai fashioned with Confederate states flags, and just four weeks ago, he had posted a photo of himself on Facebook which showed him wearing a jacket with patches representing the flags of apartheid-era South Africa and another one of Zimbabwe when it was a colony called Rhodesia.
Prior to his arrest for the shootings, Roof had minor encounters with the law. Police reports show that in February, security at the Columbiana Center called the Columbia police when Roof began asking employees of two stores at the mall “out of the ordinary questions” like how many people were at work and what time they left.
When police officers noticed Roof was getting nervous during questioning, they searched him and found a prescription drug used to treat addiction to narcotics.
Roof was banned from the mall for a year, but a few weeks later, he showed up on the premises again. He was arrested and charged with trespassing. After a trial, he was found guilty and ordered to pay a $262 fine.
He was arrested again in March in Lexington County on a misdemeanor drug charge for possession of a controlled substance.
Roof didn’t have much success in school, either. At his high school, Roof failed the ninth grade and quit mid-way through his second attempt in 2010. Schoolmates said that he then adopted a Goth lifestyle and dressed in black clothing and makeup.
People have come forward stating that the signs were evident about Roof’s intentions. Christon Scriven, his friend, said, “He flat out told us he was going to do this stuff. He’s weird. You don’t know when to take him seriously and when not to.”
Dalton Tyler, Roof’s roommate, said “He was big into segregation and other stuff. He said he wanted to start a civil war. He said he was going to do something like that and then kill himself.”
Despite his sketchy past, when Roof turned 21 last April, he was given a .45-caliber handgun by his father.