'I did it,' South Carolina church shooting suspect says in taped confession

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 09, 2016 12:11 PM

By Harriet McLeod

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - Jurors in the federal hate crimes trial of Dylann Roof, accused of killing nine people at a historic black church in South Carolina last year, on Friday watched a video of the avowed white supremacist calmly telling investigators "I did it."

Roof's lawyers have not disputed his guilt on the charges of hate crimes resulting in death, obstruction of religion and firearms violations, for which the U.S. government is seeking the death penalty.

The taped confession, played on the third day of 22-year-old Roof's trial in Charleston, gave jurors a chance to hear him admit to the June 2015 massacre at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

"I went to that church in Charleston and, uh, I did it," Roof told investigators after his arrest in Shelby, North Carolina, about 13 hours after security video showed him leaving the church.

"Did what?" FBI agent Michael Stansbury asked on the video.

Roof paused.

"It's not what I normally say because I don't want to make myself seem guilty," Roof said. "Well, I did, I killed them. Well, I guess."

Before the video began, Shelby Police Officer Scott Hamrick told jurors Roof did not appear to be under the influence of any substances when police stopped his car.

Inside the vehicle, they found the gun used in the shooting, as well as movie tickets among Roof's belongings, officers have testified.

(Reporting by Harriet McLeod; Writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Bill Trott)