Dylann Roof's Scared Friend Hid Gun for a Day

Governor says authorities will seek the death penalty
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2015 11:24 AM CDT
Dylann Roof's Scared Friend Hid Gun for a Day
Police tape surrounds the parking lot behind the AME Emanuel Church, Friday, June 19, 2015 in Charleston, S.C.   (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

Authorities have charged Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof, 21, with nine counts of murder after what investigators claim was his attempt to incite a race war. Roof, who is also charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, has already confessed to carrying out the murders for political purposes, investigators tell CNN. Roof is set to make his first court appearance during a bond hearing at 2pm ET today, but will likely appear via video link. Gov. Nikki Haley tells the Post and Courier the officials who spoke to Roof "looked pure evil in the eye," and "we will seek the death penalty. ... You will absolutely pay the price."

Joey Meek, a friend of Roof's, says the suspect bought a .45-caliber Glock pistol using birthday money from his parents a few weeks ago and said he had a "plan," but never explained what it was. Meek—who played video games with Roof on the morning of the shooting, the AP reports—says the comments rattled him so much he took the gun from Roof's car and hid it for a day. "I think he wanted something big like Trayvon Martin," he tells ABC News. "He wanted to make something spark up the race war again." How Roof got the gun remains a bit murky: The Washington Post yesterday noted that a person who has pending felony charges against them (which Roof did) is barred from purchasing a gun; previous reports said Roof's dad bought it for him. (More Dylann Roof stories.)

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