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What We Know So Far About Accused Church Gunman Dylann Roof

June 18, 2015

Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old man arrested in connection with the deadly shooting at one of Charleston, S.C.'s oldest historically black churches, had previously been in trouble with authorities. He was arrested twice recently — once on suspicion of drug possession and another time for trespassing.

Roof's drug arrest occurred Feb. 28 at the Columbiana Mall in Charleston. The New York Times reports that that case is continuing. 

The incident resulted in Roof being banned for a year from the mall. But in April, he was arrested at the mall again — this time accused of trespassing. He was convicted on the trespassing charge, The Times and USA Today report. Here's the incident report.

An undated Facebook photograph of Roof shows him wearing a jacket with two patches. One is a pre-apartheid-era flag of South Africa, and the other is the flag for Rhodesia, the previously white-ruled country now called Zimbabwe.

Police are describing Wednesday night's attack at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church as a hate crime. Roof is accused of killing nine people at the church. He was arrested today in North Carolina after a manhunt.

Reuters reported that Carson Cowles, 56, who identified himself as Roof's uncle, said Roof's father had given the alleged gunman a .45-caliber handgun as a 21st birthday present. Cowles described Roof as adrift, but also called him "quiet and soft-spoken."

"I don't have any words for it," he told Reuters. "Nobody in my family had seen anything like this coming."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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