Dylann Roof Tried to Die During Attack: Victim's Son

Meanwhile, Roof's family says he was 'sweet kid' who got lured by 'Internet evil'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2015 8:30 AM CDT
Dylann Roof Tried to Die During Attack: Victim's Son
Dylann Roof appears via video before a judge, in Charleston, SC, Friday.   (Centralized Bond Hearing Court via AP)

"His plan was never to leave that church." That's what the son of one of the victims of Wednesday's church shootings in Charleston, SC, says about Dylann Roof, the suspected gunman, the Los Angeles Times reports. Kevin Singleton, whose mom, Myra Thompson, was one of the nine killed in the attack, says one of the two adult survivors of the massacre told him that after Roof told her he'd spare her life, he turned his gun on himself. "He pointed the gun at his head and pulled the trigger, but it went 'click,'" Singleton tells the Times, meaning that the gun's chamber was empty. Singleton also says it looks like Roof had originally designed to kill only the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, but that when another minister there intervened, Roof put everyone at the Bible study meeting in his sights.

This has all come as a shock to Roof's family, which is still reeling from the news that he allegedly carried out these acts. His ex-stepmom, Paige Mann, tells NBC News that Roof was a "sweet kid" who was "very smart—too smart" and that he started to slide after spending too much time online. "He was locked in his room looking up bad stuff on his computer," she says. "Something on the computer drew him in—this is Internet evil." She adds Roof had obsessive leanings, including being a germaphobe and fixating on certain things such as the bowl haircut he's had since he was 3. "I never imagined he'd have anything bad in his heart toward people," his mom, Patricia Hastings, tells the station. (Roof apparently maintained a white supremacist website that contained his manifesto.)

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