Morgan Roof, the teenage sister of Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, is accused of carrying weapons – a knife and pepper spray – on school grounds after a racially-charged Snapchat post she allegedly made “caused alarm to the student body.”
“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,” the Snapchat post attributed to Morgan allegedly says about the national walkout against gun violence.
Morgan Roof’s arrest came on March 14, 2018, which was the same day that high school students around the United States staged the national walk-out to call for stricter gun laws in the wake of the Florida school shooting. The Snapchat post she’s accused of making specifically referenced the walk out, although students at her South Carolina high school were asked not to walk out for “security purposes.”
Morgan, 18, was also active on Tumblr in recent years, where she fielded and answered questions from people curious about her brother, including from some people who appear to be fans of the killer. Dylann Roof is one of the most notorious mass shooters in United States history. A white supremacist, he murdered nine black parishioners and the pastor in a racially motivated hate crime attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. on June 17, 2015.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Morgan Is Accused of Posting About ‘Black People’ & the Gun Walkout on Snapchat
The Snapchat post allegedly made by Morgan Roof circulated on social media, including Twitter. The State newspaper confirmed that the Snapchat post attributed to Morgan Roof expressed displeasure with the gun walkout and included the comment “we know it’s fixing to be nothing but black people walkin out anyway.”
The full comment allegedly reads, “Your walking out for the allowed time of 17min, they are letting you do this, nothing is gonna change what tf you think it’s gonna do? 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. No offense ofc buuut.”
The March 14 walkout took place in many states across the country. Students walked out for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. in schools throughout the United States to remember the 17 staff members and students who were murdered in the Florida mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February.
One mother of children in the school wrote on Facebook as news spread, “Most of you probably don’t know….I certainly didn’t….that Dylan Roof’s sister goes to AC Flora where my kids are in school. Today, during what should have been a peaceful remembrance of lives lost,…” Another woman shared the Snapchat post on Facebook and wrote, “My friend’s daughter was terrified by this. He went to Flora to check on her and they tried to dismiss it as a rumor. I spoke to his wife and she is a nervous wreck, they have two children there.”
Another frightened parent wrote on Facebook, “My son sent me a text and I stopped everything, called him and went to sign him out!”
2. Morgan Roof Was Accused of Possessing Marijuana as Well as the Knife & Pepper Spray & the Governor Wrote That a Potential Tragedy Was Avoided
Morgan Roof was arrested for allegedly possessing a knife and pepper spray, according to Fox Carolina.
“A.C. Flora High School was contacted by the school administrator about Roof having marijuana, pepper spray, and a knife on school grounds,” the television station reported. Morgan’s high school is located in Columbia, South Carolina. She was accused of violating school policy.
Reporter Chad Mills wrote on Twitter, “In bond court, moments ago, Roof, 18, was given a $5,000 cash bond and was screened for a public defender. Roof was quiet and seemed upset.”
AC Flora’s principal wrote a lengthy letter to the school community on Twitter addressing the concerns. In addition to Morgan Roof, two other students at the high school were accused of having weapons on school grounds, so the letter was not only referring to Morgan Roof. In those other cases, both involving 16-year-olds, one was allegedly found to have “a loaded magazine in his bookbag,” according to WIS-TV. In the other case not involving Morgan, “Students also reported seeing someone throw something into the bushes on school grounds. Deputies say brief search turned up a Smith and Wesson .380 handgun.”
Students were then asked not to walk out for “security purposes.”
AC Flora is fortunate to have a close and caring community which is open to sharing information. I want to thank those of you who have called to share concerns about what you may have heard from our students. In an effort to stop rumors, I would like to explain recent events that have occurred at AC Flora.
As many of you know, today was set as a time for a student walkout. Our student leaders had asked to be allowed to spend seventeen minutes to remember each of the victims of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. This student-led event was voluntary. The walkout went well with only a minor verbal disagreement that occurred at dismissal from the event. A rumor then started that a certain student had a weapon. This was heavily investigated and found to be inaccurate. In a separate situation, a student used social media to post a hateful message. The posting was not a threat, but was extremely inappropriate. That student was dealt with in a swift and severe manner as the posting caused quite a disruption.
In an isolated incident yesterday, administration was notified that there was possibly a weapon on campus. Through diligent work from the Assistant Principals and the School Resource Officers, an unloaded weapon was recovered. The investigation of this matter involves law enforcement as well as school officials. Discipline for students involved will follow the Richland One Code of Conduct.
I realize that rumors and the tragic school shootings in Florida are events that can cause anxiety for our students, parents, faculty, and the community. Be assured that the safety of our students will always be our top priority. We must continue to work together to maintain a safe and positive learning environment. Please feel free to contact me at 803.807.8697 if you have questions or concerns.
No students were injured in connection with any of the arrests. Not everyone liked the tone of the principal’s letter. “See this is where we are going to have to absolutely disagree. This wasn’t just ANY student. This was the sister of a convicted white supremacist terrorist who is currently sitting on death row. As far as I am concerned it was a threat,” wrote one young woman in an angry Facebook post.
South Carolina’s governor wrote on Twitter, “Potential tragedy was avoided at AC Flora High School. In two separate incidents, students and educators reacted quickly to reports of suspicious activity and behavior to their Richland County Sheriff’s Department school resource officer.”
3. Dylann Roof Said He Wasn’t Sorry for the Mass Shooting & Morgan Has Written About Dylann on Tumblr
Dylann Roof specifically targeted his victims because they were African-American. “Roof told FBI agents he wanted to bring back segregation or perhaps start a race war with the slayings,” WGN-TV reported. He also showed no remorse.
Roof represented himself in court and was sentenced to death in 2017 by a federal jury.
According to USA Today, Dylann Roof remained unrepentant for committing one of the worst hate crimes in American history. According to the indictment, Roof “decided to attack African-Americans because of their race. He further decided to attack African-American worshipers in an African-American church in order to make his attack more notorious.”
“I would like to make it crystal clear I do not regret what I did. I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed,” he wrote in jail writings released to the news media, adding, “I have shed a tear of self-pity for myself. I feel pity that I had to do what I did in the first place.”
The crime was horrific; Roof shot each victim at least five times, and survivors hid under tables. Roof left parishioner Polly Sheppard alive “to tell people that the 22-year-old white man killed the nine black people as revenge because of crimes blacks had committed against whites and other racist beliefs,” reported the New York Post.
The prosecutor said: “He killed them because of the color of their skin. He killed them because they were less than people” in his mind.
His sister fielded questions from curiosity-seekers on her Tumblr page after her brother’s atrocities.
On her Tumblr page, Morgan wrote, “For those who added me on SnapChat. DON’T ASK ME ABOUT DYLANN. On here I don’t mind but plz not on SnapChat. Thanksssss.” However, on Tumblr she openly discussed him, even posting photos of them as children together.
In 2017, Morgan Roof also wrote on Tumblr, “Of course I care… but I’m not gonna let what he did effect (sic) what I do and how I live my life. I’m happy (because) I deserve to be. I have an amazing life and friends and support system. I went through and still have to deal with something unbelievably terrible that nobody understands. I choose not to let what he did ruin my happiness.”
That comment was in response to a question posted on the page that called her a vile name, reading, “do you not even f*cking care that your brother is going to die? why the f*ck are you so happy? heartless attention wh*re.”
In another post, she wrote, “Just talked to Dylann. If you want to send something to Dylann send him a picture of cats or you smiling printed on a piece of paper.”
At one point on the Tumblr page, a woman wrote, “Morgaaaaaan! Tell any fact about Dylann! Why are you both keep silent 😢”
The response: “Because y’all are f*cking crazy and we don’t want to answer to psychos who obsess about a f*cking mass murderer, I respond to people who are interested in the case not people who call him daddy that’s f*cking sick.”
Another person expressed support for Morgan on Tumblr, writing, “screw all the negativity it’s incredible brave of you for joining tumblr and answering peoples questions about your bother or anything like that, it’s just completely rude and you don’t deserve that at all, especially not at a time like this, I hope you realise that many are curious as to who you are as a person and not everybody who follows you is here to be rude to you over something your brother did as you are not the same people. Take care x.”
Another person asked, “Are you Dylann Roof’s real sister?”
Morgan wrote: “Dylann who..?”
4. Morgan Roof Told Her Brother That She Still Loved Him But a Neighbor Is Defending Her
Videos were released of jail visits between Dylann Roof and family members, and they showed that he caused them distress after ending up behind bars, according to The Post and Courier. Morgan was featured in one of them.
“Newly released videos of Dylann Roof’s jail visits from family members during his trial show the young killer made his father cry, refused to tell his little sister he loved her, repeatedly provoked his mother’s distress and described hatred for his defense attorneys,” the newspaper reported.
“Roof’s teenage sister, Morgan, told him that she wanted to attend his execution, if it occurred,” reported The Post and Courier.
“I love you, Dylann, even if you don’t love me back,” she said, according to the newspaper. He responded, “OK.”
Chris Slick, a government communications manager and former Roof neighbor, told The Post and Courier, “Tragedy has struck this family again.”
He added in the interview with the newspaper: “This is not the Morgan I knew. She didn’t hate people. She didn’t have prejudices like this — in fact, I witnessed the opposite. I hope that one day, one day she finds peace and seeks forgiveness for what she did today. I cannot say I wish the same for her brother.”
5. Previous News Reports Allege the Roofs Grew Up in a Troubled Home
The picture of the Roof family that emerged during Roof’s trial was not a pretty one. According to the New York Daily News, it was alleged that the family dynamic included abuse. Dylann Roof “was raised by a loving stepmom, but in a house destroyed by domestic violence,” The New York Daily News reported.
The Daily News says that Dylann’s stepmother “Paige Mann, now 41 and newly married, was the closest thing to a real parent Dylann Roof and his older half-sister Amber Roof had.” Morgan’s profile picture on Facebook shows her with Paige Mann and tags Mann. Franklin Bennett, Dylann Roof’s dad, is also the father of Morgan, the newspaper reported, adding that Morgan is the daughter of Franklin Bennett and Mann.
Amber Roof has also provoked controversy in the past. The older sister of Dylann Roof, she was criticized after she set up a GoFundMePage to recoup losses she and her fiance, Michael Tyo, sustained after postponing their wedding last month. She and her fiancee had called off the wedding after the church shooting.
However, Roof grew up in a “respected” family, reported the New York Times. His grandfather was a “well known lawyer,” but his parents divorced, and his mother was evicted after the family fell on hard times and his father lost his historic home renovation business, according to The Times.
Roof dropped out of high school and became drawn to white supremacist sites, the newspaper said. Roof’s lawyer had described him as a loner who was closest to his cat.