1. Roof’s Uncle Said He Would ‘Be the Executioner’ Himself if Authorities Would Let Him
Carson Cowles spoke with Reuters on Thursday afternoon while police were searching for Roof, telling reporters that Roof’s father had given him a gun as a 21st birthday present. Cowles, who said he recognized Roof in the photo released by authorities, said Roof’s father gave him a .45-caliber pistol for his birthday.
Cowles described Roof as “quiet and soft-spoken,” and added that he would “be the executioner myself if they would allow it.”
It is still not clear if Roof used the pistol during his attack on Wednesday night and authorities would not comment on the details of the on-going investigation. However, Cowles did add that Roof was thrilled to receive the present, recounting a conversation with his nephew to the New York Daily News:
He said, ‘I got to go, I’m outside shooting target practice right now. He sounded happy about it. My family is nothing like this. We could’ve never seen anything like this – no way, shape or form. He’s a monster and they need to catch him, and he needs to pay for what he’s done.
Roof’s grandfather, Joe, was also identified by media reports but declined to comment on the situation.
2. Cops Were Stationed at Roof’s Mother’s House During an Exhaustive Manhunt
In addition to relaying the story of Roof’s recent 21st birthday present, Cowles also mentioned that police had been stationed at the home of Roof’s mother while searching for the shooter on Thursday morning.
Cowles added that he had recently expressed worries about his nephew to his sister, concerned that he didn’t have a job and stayed in his room all day.
Fox News commentator Greta Van Sustersen spoke with one of Roof’s friends, Justin Meek, on Thursday, discussing Meek’s claim that Roof’s mother had actually taken his gun away from him.
3. Roof’s Sister Was Scheduled to Get Married Sunday
According to a report by the Washington Post, it was Roof’s sister, Amber, 27, who first alerted authorities of her brother’s identity after seeing his surveillance photo on television on Wednesday night.
Amber Roof was set to be married on Sunday. Her registry, with fiance Michael Tyo, posted on The Knot, lists the wedding in Columbia, South Carolina. The site also had a link to the couple’s wedding website but the link is no longer active. Tyo, a recruiter for the U.S. Army Reserve, declined to comment for the Post story when questioned in front of the couple’s home.
4. Roof’s Younger Sister Was Arrested on March 14, 2018
Morgan Roof, 18, was accused of carrying weapons on her high school grounds after she allegedly made a racially-charged Snapchat post. The post came on the same day students across the United States staged a national walk-out to call for stricter gun laws.
“I hope it’s a trap and y’all get shot we know it’s fixing to be nothing but black people walkin out anyway,” Roof reportedly posted on the social media website.
Roof was arrested after bringing a knife and pepper spray to school, but also reportedly had marijuana in her possession as well. Inmate records at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center list Morgan Sinclair Roof as being in custody on March 14. She appeared in bond court as well and was given, according to reporter Chad Mills, “$5,000 cash bond and was screened for a public defender.” He added that Roof “was quiet and seemed upset.”
In addition to Roof, two other students at the school were accused of having weapons on school grounds and authorities said a brief search of the bushes on school grounds turned up a Wesson .380 handgun.
AC Flora principal Susan Childs posted a letter to parents and students on the school’s Twitter page, addressing concerns and questions and to assure that the “safety of our students will always be our top priority.”
5. Roof’s Friend Said Roof Was ‘Planning for 6 Months to Do Something Crazy’
In addition to his comments on Fox News, Meek, 20, also spoke with the New York Daily Newson Thursday, discussing his recent relationship with Roof. Meek, who said he and Roof had been best friends in middle school, before losing touch, reconnected with his former classmate over Facebook.
Meek told the Daily News that he and Roof had gotten into an altercation two weeks ago and he had taken away the now-infamous .45-caliber pistol. Meek claimed that Roof had gone on a drunken rant at the time, talking about segregation and killing people.
Meek described the situation:
He said he was planning for about six months to do something crazy. He wanted it to be segregated. He wanted it to be white with the white, black with the black. All the races segregated. He wanted to do something big, like the Trayvon Martin case. He was upset about it. It made him mad.
Meek’s mother, Kimberly Konzny, told the AP she and her son recognized Roof in the surveillance images put out by police on Wednesday night.