Dylann Roof, the white suspect accused of fatally shooting nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, appears to have posted a racist manifesto online detailing his motivations for the crime.
A shooter opened fire at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Wednesday, killing nine people, before fleeing the scene. Authorities later announced Roof as the suspect, and took him into custody. The act was quickly deemed a hate crime.
While it is not yet officially linked to Roof, photos found on the website appear to be of the 21-year-old brandishing a handgun and holding a Confederate flag. LastRhodesian.com, which was registered in Roof’s name, includes a link to a text document that appears to explain the reasoning behind his alleged attack on the church. Roof has also been seen in photographs wearing a Rhodesian flag patch, a symbol associated with white supremacist movements.
The manifesto also suggests that the shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin influenced Roof’s thinking.
“The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case,” it states. “It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words “black on White crime” into Google, and I have never been the same since that day.”
The document goes on to detail racist beliefs against black people, while also discussing Jewish, Hispanic and East Asian people. It also references racial tension in Europe as having played a role in shaping Roof’s worldview:
Under a section titled “Patriotism,” the manifesto also describes the author’s distaste for the American flag: “I hate the sight of the American flag. Modern American patriotism is an absolute joke. People pretending like they have something to be proud while White people are being murdered daily in the streets.”
The homepage of LastRhodesian.com contains a graphic photo that appears to be from the 1992 movie Romper Stomper, which is about a group of neo-Nazis in Melbourne, Australia. It also hosts a zip file that when downloaded, includes photos of what appears to be Roof with a handgun, holding a Confederate flag and burning an American flag.
Among the photos is one of a .45-caliber handgun and bullets. According to reports, Roof had a .45-caliber handgun that he purchased with money given to him by family for his birthday.