Dylann Storm Roof glared at waiting cameras and licked his lips as he was led by authorities out of a jail at the Shelby Police Department in Shelby, North Carolina. He was in handcuffs, with chains on his legs and a bulletproof vest on Thursday – just hours after he allegedly shot dead nine people in a horrific “hate-crime” attack in a Charleston, South Carolina, church.
The 21-year-old, who has had run-ins with cops in the past, seemed to show no emotion as he walked out of the station, pictured for the first time after being arrested for a crime that has shocked the nation, angered President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and caused 2016 presidential candidates to cancel appearances and respond to the tragedy in the politically crucial state of South Carolina.
The suspect, confirmed to PEOPLE by the FBI, is awaiting extradition back to South Carolina to face charges in the shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church – a 150-year-old institution that was originally started by slaves.
In a hearing Thursday in Shelby, Roof waived his right to fight extradition back to South Carolina, according to the Associated Press.
He is now believed to be en route back to the Palmetto State to face charges in connection with the shooting.
Also on Thursday, a friend of Roof said the 21-year-old ranted that something had to be done for the “white race” because black people were “taking over the world,” Joseph Meek Jr. told the AP.
Meek said his friend’s comments came “out of the blue” and he had no idea what sparked them. Meek did say, however, that Roof appeared troubled when they spoke recently.
Roof was arrested Thursday morning in Shelby, North Carolina, during a traffic stop, following a tip from the public. He is reportedly cooperating with police.
The Charleston mayor and police chief praised the swift arrest and spoke to their community’s loss of lives and trust.
“That awful person, that terrible human being, who would go into a place of worship where people were praying and kill them, is now in custody where he will always remain,” Mayor Joseph Riley said Thursday at a news conference.
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“It is important for everyone wounded by this act – the church family members, community members and the people of America – that we hold sacred the places people come to practice their faith. The arrest of this awful man can begin the necessary process of healing together.”
Said Chief Mullen: “I am pleased we were able to solve this case quickly for the families, community and the state and apprehend this individual who committed this heinous, tragic crime.”
Choking up, the chief added, “People came together in this tragic situation, this horrific situation, and the cooperation we have received from the federal and state government has been unparalleled.”
The mayor said the community would organize a prayer vigil to mourn its losses.
“This is America,” he said. “We don’t let bad people like this get away.”
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