U.S. Killer Targeted College, Not Church, Friend Reveals | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


U.S. Killer Targeted College, Not Church, Friend Reveals

Posted: Jun 20, 2015 at 4:38 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Christon Scriven, the black friend of the suspected gunman on Saturday, June 20, 2015, said that the killer, Dylann Roof, may have targeted a Charleston church because of tight security at a nearby school, which he originally targeted.

Roof drunkenly told friends he was “going to hurt a bunch of people” at a college in Charleston seven days before allegedly opening fire in a church, killing nine black worshippers, according to

Scriven, a black friend of the 21-year-old, said he was so concerned by the outburst that he hid Roof’s .45-caliber handgun in the air-conditioning vent of a mobile home.

Roof was given back his weapon days before the fatal shooting, after a girl living in the trailer said that she wanted it out of the house.

“I think he couldn’t get into the school because of the security … so I think he just settled for the church,” Scriven said.

In a vivid account, the 22-year-old described Roof as an extremely unhappy person, someone who drank heavily and flitted between the homes of his divorced parents because he felt unloved.

Several acquaintances have also painted a picture of Roof as a confused and troubled young person – as although he partied with black friends on a regular basis, he would also rant about African-Americans to his white friends.

“I don’t think his parents liked his decisions, the choices that he made to have black friends,” Scriven added.

Roof’s friends are now struggling with the knowledge that it may have been possible to prevent the mass shooting at The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Wednesday night.

Joey Meek, who had recently reconnected with Roof after getting to know him in high school, earlier said that the alleged attacker feared “blacks were taking over the country”, and regularly talked about segregation.

“Whenever he said he wanted to do something crazy, I just blew it off and didn’t pay attention because he was intoxicated,” Meek added.

On Friday, Roof appeared in court via video link, handcuffed and dressed in a jail jumpsuit. He spoke only to answer questions – stating his age and that he was unemployed.