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‘I Wanted to Start a Civil War’; Charleston SC Church Shooter Confesses to Crime

Written by on June 19, 2015

This photo provided by Charleston County Sheriff's Office shows Dylann Roof, Thursday, June 18, 2015. Roof, 21, was arrested Thursday in the slayings of several people Wednesday, including the pastor, at a prayer meeting inside The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. (Charleston County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Unnamed law officials told CNN Friday that the man accused of killing nine people at a Charleston, South Carolina, church confessed to the crime.

The Huffington Post reported that 21-year-old Dylann Roof, accused of the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Wednesday night, had confessed, citing unnamed law enforcement officers as their source.

When reached by Friday morning, Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis declined to confirm a confession.

Roof was arrested on Thursday after a florist in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, noticed his vehicle and alerted police. He was taken into custody shortly afterwards in Shelby, North Carolina, more than 200 miles from Charleston.

Dalton Tyler, Roof’s roommate, told ABC News he’d known the alleged killer for at least seven months, and that Roof had been “planning something like that for six months.”

“He was big into segregation and other stuff,” Tyler said. “He said he wanted to start a civil war. He said he was going to do something like that and then kill himself.”

Roof’s uncle, Carson Cowles, told Reuters that his nephew received a gun for his 21st birthday in April. It’s unclear whether that gun was used in the shooting. Charleston Police and the Department of Justice have declined to discuss any specifics of the ongoing investigation.

Emanuel, a historic black church, is the oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the South. One of the shooting victims was the church’s pastor and South Carolina State Sen. Clementa Pinckney. Other victims included Tywanza Sanders, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Myra Thompson, Ethel Lance, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor and Susie Jackson.