Dylann Roof reportedly tried to kill himself during Charleston church shooting.

Dylann Roof Reportedly Tried to Kill Himself During Charleston Church Shooting

Dylann Roof Reportedly Tried to Kill Himself During Charleston Church Shooting

The Slatest
Your News Companion
June 21 2015 3:01 PM

Dylann Roof Reportedly Tried to Kill Himself During Charleston Church Shooting

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Law enforcement officials continue their investigation in the parking lot of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church after a mass shooting at the church killed nine people on June 19, 2015.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Dylann Roof was never supposed to make it out of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston alive, according to the son of one of the victims. “He pointed the gun at his head and pulled the trigger, but it went ‘click,’ ” Kevin Singleton, the son of 59-year-old Myra Thompson, tells the Los Angeles Times. “His plan was never to leave that church.”

Singleton says 69-year-old Polly Sheppard, one of two adult survivors of the massacre, told him the sequence of events. Roof reportedly told Sheppard he would not kill her so she could tell others about what happened, and he then turned the gun on himself. But the gun wouldn’t go off, and he left only to be arrested a day later in North Carolina.

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The 21-year-old Roof is now on suicide watch at a Charleston County detention facility, reports the Washington Post. Roof, who is accused of killing nine people at the Charleston church, is in solitary confinement and is being monitored by two detention officers.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.