Roof reportedly sat and prayed with the prayer group at the historic church for an hour before he open fired on them. Three men and six women were killed, including the churches’ pastor,Â Rev. Clementa Pinckney.
There were three survivorsÂ of the shooting. Charleston NAACP PresidentÂ Dot ScottÂ toldÂ CNNÂ that one of the womenÂ who survived the shooting says the gunman told herÂ he was letting her live so that she could tell people what happened. A 5-year-old boy reportedly survived the massacre by playing dead.
In an interview with NBC affiliate stationÂ WIS, a woman claiming to beÂ Rev. Pinckneyâ€™s cousin relayed an account from a survivor in the room.
â€œShe said that he had reloaded five different times and her son was trying to talk him out of doing that, killing people, and he just said, â€˜I have to do itâ€™ and he said, â€˜You rape our women and youâ€™re taking over our country and you have to go,â€™â€ Pinckneyâ€™s cousin said.
According toÂ reports, Roof’s uncle revealed he was recently given a .45 caliber gun by his father as a birthday gift. No word whether that was the gun used in the church massacre.