Racially-charged photographs of Dylann Storm Roof, 21, who is charged with 9 counts of murder in the shooting massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Wednesday have surfaced on a website Saturday, along with a hate-filled manifesto.
The website shows a photo of Roof, alone, posing with a gun and a Confederate flag as well as Roof posing with wax figures of slaves. According to The New York Times, the domain site was registered under Roof’s name earlier this year.
“I was not raised in a racist home or environment,” the text on the website reads before continuing on with details of the case of Trayvon Martin, who was fatally shot by George Zimmerman on Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman was found not guilty in 2013 of second degree murder charges. The text reads: “Zimmerman was in the right.” There is no byline or author identified in the text.
The website is broken up into sections with headers and rants against races. Under a section entitled “An Explanation,” the text reads, “I have no choice I choose Charleston because it is [the] most historic city in my state “
As members of the Emanuel AME Church mourn 9 lives lost and first responders to the horrific massacre try to come to grips with the loss, Charleston Branch NAACP President Dot Scott says there is a “need to seriously deal with the issue of hateful behavior.”
“It’s sad that someone in the midst of the millennia would have that level of racist behavior and be willing to carry it out, even in the face of love and kindness extended to them,” Scott tells PEOPLE.
Roof sat among the bible study group at the church for almost an hour before opening fire on parishioners, according to police documents obtained by PEOPLE.
“Doors are always open when there’s something going on in church, so anybody can walk in,” Scott says. “You have a very intimate type of setting there with him sitting next to the pastor. For him to perpetrate a massacre with those folks is scary.”
with reporting by HARRIET SOKMENSUER
Individuals who want to donate in memory of the victims of the Charleston church massacre are asked to text “prayforcharleston” to 843-606-5995 or donate online at the Palmetto Project.
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