The FBI and US Department of Justice civil rights division are investigating the shooting as a hate crime. It occurred during a bible group meeting in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church.

On his Facebook page, a glowering Roof is wearing a jacket emblazoned with two flags: one of apartheid-era South Africa and the other of the white-ruled state of Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe. Roof is from the Columbia area in South Carolina and was arrested in March on drug charges.

The victims were three men and six women, including the church’s pastor. According to Sylvia Johnson, the pastor’s cousin who spoke to the survivors, Roof reloaded five times and said “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”

The gun Roof used in the shooting, a .45-caliber pistol, was a 21st birthday gift from his father, Roof’s uncle told Reuters. 

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story contained a reference to Roof’s Facebook friends, but as several people noted on Twitter, his social network connections are not necessarily relevant to what occurred.

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