Charleston Church Shooter 'Planned to Attack Local College,' Friend Claims

A black neighbor of gunman Dylann Roof claims he voiced a desire to launch an attack before church incident.

Curtis Skinner
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Judge James Gosnell (2nd R) speaks during a bond hearing for Dylan Storm Roof at a court in Charleston, South Carolina on June 19, 2015.
Judge James Gosnell (2nd R) speaks during a bond hearing for Dylan Storm Roof at a court in Charleston, South Carolina on June 19, 2015. Credit: AFP
Curtis Skinner

REUTERS - Friends of the white gunman who shot and killed nine black people inside an historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina said he first talked about attacking a college campus, the Washington Post and NBC News reported on Friday.

The Washington Post reported 22-year-old Christon Scriven, a black neighbor of gunman Dylann Roof, said that during a recent night of drinking, Roof said he wanted to open fire on a school. At another point, Roof talked about shooting up the College of Charleston, according to the newspaper.

"My reaction at the time was, 'You're just talking crazy,'" Scriven told the Post. "I don't think he's always there."

Scriven also told NBC News that Roof may have changed his plans after deciding the college campus was a harder target to access.

"He just said on Wednesday, everything was going to happen. He said they had seven days," Scriven said to NBC News. "I just ran through my head that he did it Like, he really went and did what he said he was going to do."

Reuters could not verify the report as Scriven could not be immediately reached for comment.

Roof, 21, who authorities say spent an hour in Bible study with parishioners at the nearly 200-year-old Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church before opening fire on Wednesday night, appeared via video feed before a magistrate judge who on Friday ordered him held without bond.

He has been charged with nine counts of murder and a weapons offense.
The attack at the church nicknamed "Mother Emanuel" for its key role in African-American history followed a wave of protests across the United States in recent months over police killings of unarmed black men, focusing attention on racial bias in the criminal justice system and renewing a civil rights movement under the banner of "Black Lives Matter."


Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott