Dylann Roof’s uncle: ‘He’ll get no sympathy from us’
Worshipers enter Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., four days after a mass shooting that claimed the lives of its pastor and eight others.(David Goldman / Associated Press)
People arrive for services at the Emanuel AME Church on Sunday in Charleston, S.C.(Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images)
Patricia Bailey says a prayer at a memorial outside Emanuel AME Church on Saturday in Charleston, S.C. Thousands of mourners clutching red and white roses attended a vigil in the stunned city of Charleston on Friday to remember nine African American men and women shot dead by a suspected white supremacist.(Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images)
Police tape outside the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., after the mass shooting inside Wednesday.(Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images)
People march in protest to the Confederate Museum in Charleston, S.C., on Saturday.(Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images)
A framed photograph of one of the shooting victims is left with a message at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.(Curtis Compton / Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Members of Emanuel AME Church announce that services and Sunday school will go ahead as scheduled Sunday, four days after the pastor and eight other people were shot to death.(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
Allen and Georgette Sanders of McClellanville, S.C., pray Saturday morning outside Emanuel AME Church.(Joseph Tanfani / Los Angeles Times)
Thousands of people hold hands June 19 and sing"We Shall Overcome” during a prayer vigil for those killed Wednesday night at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
Thousands of people gather for a city-sponsored prayer vigil for the nine victims of the Emanuel AME Church shooting at the College of Charleston TD Arena.(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
A woman weeps outside the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, June 19, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina.(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
Olina Ortega, left, and Austin Gibbs light candles at a sidewalk memorial in front of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.(David Goldman / Associated Press )
Marie Goff wipes away tears during a prayer vigil at Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday for the victims of the previous day’s shooting at the city’s Emanuel AME Church.(Grace Beahm / Associated Press)
Keith McDaniel, pastor of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, is surrounded by others in prayer for the victims of Wednesday’s shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.(TIM KIMZEY / Associated Press)
The steeple of Emanuel AME Church rises above the street as a police officer tells a car to move as the area is closed off following Wednesday’s shooting.(David Goldman / Associated Press)
The man accused of gunning down nine people at a South Carolina church will get no sympathy from his family, the suspect’s uncle said Thursday evening.
“He’s guilty as hell,” Carson Cowles, uncle of Dylann Roof, told the Los Angeles Times in a telephone interview.
Roof, 21, is accused of opening fire on a Bible study group at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., an incident that is being investigated as a hate crime. Roof is white and the nine victims were black.
His nephew is going to “ride the lightning,” Cowles told The Times, referring to the death penalty. “He’s going to pay for what he’s done. I’d pull the switch myself, if they’d let me.”
Among the six women and three men killed Wednesday night was the pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was also a state senator.
“Those people did nothing wrong,” Cowles said.
His sister called Thursday morning and told him to turn on the TV, Cowles said. That was how he learned his nephew was the suspect. He did not say whether the sister is Roof’s mother.
“I watched it for 10 minutes, trying to convince myself this is just a nightmare, and I need to wake up,” he told The Times. “None of us saw it coming, but here we are, and there’s no turning back.”
Roof’s mother is devastated, Cowles said, but he refused to comment further, saying it was a personal matter.
Roof was arrested in North Carolina and waived his right to challenge extradition. He was returned to South Carolina on Thursday night.
Cowles said the family was repelled by what his nephew is accused of doing. “He’ll get no sympathy from us, any of us.”
He declined to talk about his relationship with Roof but said, “I am glad he is in custody.”
Cowles has been quoted in other media as saying that Roof’s father gave him the gun for his 21st birthday. But on Thursday night, he declined to discuss the weapon.
“I have already talked to the media about that enough,” he said.
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