This Was Dylann Roof's Life Before Charleston

His former roommates describe living with shooter
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2015 1:19 PM CDT
This Thursday, June 18, 2015, file photo, provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office shows Dylann Roof.   (Charleston County Sheriff's Office via AP)
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(Newser) – Joey Meek isn't one to turn away a friend, though his trailer in Columbia, SC, is full with his brothers Justin, 18, and Jacob, 15; girlfriend Lindsey Fry, 19; and mom Kim Konzny, 41. Fry was welcomed after running away with a heroin addict, as was Dylann Roof, a childhood friend who showed up a few months ago, reports the Washington Post in a lengthy feature. He slept on a twin mattress on the living room floor, played video games, and occasionally listened to opera in his car. He sometimes said odd things, telling Joey he supported segregation and had visited the Emanuel AME church in Charleston, but Joey didn't ask questions. Only when Roof vowed to "do something crazy" while drunk did Joey and Fry hide his handgun in one of the trailer's floor vents, though they eventually returned it. "Would you believe your friend if they said something like that when they were drunk?" Joey asks. "I didn't believe it."

When he heard about the Emanuel AME shooting, Joey recalls thinking, "He did it," but waited for surveillance footage of Roof to surface before calling police. It wasn't the first time the family had missed a warning sign. One day while Roof was staying at the trailer, Justin's friend sent him a text saying he was going to drink bug poison. Justin didn't believe him and ignored the message. Even after they were told the boy had shot himself, Joey had to visit his blood-strewn trailer before he could believe he was dead. Konzny, a former medical tech who works at Waffle House, says it feels like "we're being punished for something, only I can't figure out what," noting things went downhill for the family when her second husband left and she lost her home to foreclosure. "I'm wondering how I can get away from all this," Joey says from the mattress where Roof once slept. The sound of gunfire fills the room as, feet away, his brother plays a violent video game. More at the Post.

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