Home / National News / Charleston Shooting: What Gunman Allegedly Said to Survivor Inside the Church


(CHARLESTON, S.C.) A relative of one of the nine people killed at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, said a survivor of the massacre told her the shooter entered the church asking to see the Rev. Clementa Pinckney.

“They showed him where he was and Clementa, being the kind spirited person that he is, he had him [the shooter] to sit next to him,” Sylvia Johnson, a cousin of the church’s slain pastor, told ABC News today after speaking with one of the survivors who was in the church.

Pinckney, 41, was among the nine shot to death at Wednesday night bible study.

“She said it was just like…it was just blood all over the place,” Johnson told ABC News.

 Johnson said the survivor told her the gunman, addressing her son, who is in his mid-20s, said, “You all rape women and you’re taking over our country.”

The gunman added, “I have to do what I have to do,” Johnson said, quoting the survivor.

The survivor, whom ABC News is not naming, said it wasn’t until the end of bible study when the suspect just started shooting, according to Johnson. The survivor said the suspect loaded his gun about five times.

Three people survived the shooting, including an elderly woman. According to Johnson, when the gunman saw the elderly woman was alive, he asked her, “Did I shoot you?”

When the elderly woman said “No,” the gunman said, “Good, because I need someone to survive,” and said he was going to shoot himself, the survivor told Johnson. “And you’ll be the only survivor.”

The alleged gunman, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, was arrested today in Shelby, North Carolina. A court clerk confirmed to ABC News this afternoon that Roof waived extradition in North Carolina and is cleared to return to South Carolina.

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