Crime & Courts

Shelby police dashcam video shows Charleston shooting suspect’s arrest

Shelby police on Monday released dashcam video of the arrest of Dylann Storm Roof, the 21-year-old white man accused of killing nine African-Americans during Bible study in a Charleston church with deep roots in the black community.

The video confirms the Shelby Police Department’s account that Roof surrendered meekly after he was approached by officers about 16 hours after the mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

A local florist and her boss had tipped authorities off about the location of Roof’s black Hyundai.

The video was released as part of a public records request by the Observer and other media outlets.

The video from last Thursday shows at least one patrol car following Roof’s Hyundai on U.S. 74 in Shelby before the four-door sedan pulls onto a gravel driveway.

The traffic stop took place across the street from a Marathon gas station, its customers seemingly oblivious to the police activity nearby. The Observer’s news partner, WBTV, reported that Roof was apparently on his way to Nashville, Tenn.

Two officers with guns drawn approached the car as several more approached but stayed out of the vehicle’s path.

After making contact with Roof, one officer spoke to him, apparently asking him to get out of the car, then searched and handcuffed him in about a minute.

Shelby police Chief Jeff Ledford told the Observer that after Roof was stopped, he lowered his window and calmly handed over his driver’s license.

“I’m Dylann Roof,” he said.

He put up no resistance, although authorities said they found a .45-caliber handgun in Roof’s car.

The sedate Roof in the video behaved differently from descriptions of the shooter at the Charleston church and from how investigators described him during questioning.

Citing anonymous sources, the Washington Post said Roof showed no remorse and expressed racist views even as he confessed to the crimes. Investigators say Roof had hoped to start a race war.

Witnesses say the prayer group had asked him to join them. After he began shooting, Roof reportedly said, “I’ll give you something to pray about.”

Roof also had made a stop in Charlotte.

At 5:50 a.m., nearly nine hours after the shootings, Roof pulled into the Shell station on Providence Road and Ballantyne Commons Parkway, gassed up his car and walked inside the Market Express, store employees said.

/Clad in black jeans and a white shirt, he used the ATM beside the entryway and bought a bottle of water and a bag of Doritos. Store workers thought nothing of it, believing him to be just a polite, quiet guy.

Wootson: 704-358-5046;

Twitter: @CleveWootson

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