Thanks to Debbie Dills' quick thinking, Dylann Roof is now in custody

By Tara Fowler
Updated June 19, 2015 07:35 AM
Credit: Steve Reed/AP; Inset: Charleston County Sheriff's Office/AP

A North Carolina woman is being hailed as a hero after she tailed the Charleston church massacre suspect for more than 30 miles so police could catch up and arrest him.

Debbie Dills credits God with her good fortune. “It was Him from the time I left my house this morning. It was Him that made me look at that car. It was God who made this happen,” she told CNN. “God heard the prayers of those people.”

She was on her way to work in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, on Thursday when she spotted Dylann Roof in a black Hyundai next to her.

“I don’t know what drew my attention to the car,” she said. “In my mind I’m thinking, ‘That can’t be’ … I never dreamed that it would be the car.”

But it was the car. Inside sat the 21-year-old who allegedly slaughtered 9 people in what is being called a hate-crime massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Roof allegedly sat alongside parishioners for about an hour during a Bible study class inside the church before opening fire on the victims.

Feeling panicked, Dills pulled over and phoned her boss, Todd Frady, to ask what to do. “She just had a gut feeling that something just wasn’t right,” he told the Associated Press.

While he called the police, Dills took matters into her own hands, speeding off from where she’d pulled over to catch up with the suspect. The 51-year-old hoped to catch a license plate number, anything that could help the cops.

“I was very nervous,” Dills said.

She caught up to Roof at a stoplight and then proceeded to tail him, following the alleged gunman for more than 30 miles before authorities located them.

RELATED VIDEO: Charleston Church Shooting: Hate Crime Or Act Of Terrorism?

On Thursday evening, Roof was flown back to South Carolina, where he faces charges in the shootings, after he waived extradition.

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