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These Are The Facts You Need To Know About The Charleston Church Shooting

With each passing hour more incredible and sad details emerge about the Wednesday Charleston, S.C. church shooting that has the attention of the nation.

Here are six crucial facts to understanding the case.

1. Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white male, has reportedly confessed to the crime. He has been charged with nine counts of murder and could face the death penalty.

2. Race was huge in this shooting. In his Facebook pictures, Roof can be seen posing with his confederate flag license plate and wearing a jacket with two patches that experts believe are flags from Apartheid-era South Africa’s ruling white minority. A witness says Roof yelled he was there “to shoot black people” before opening fire. Also, the church that was shot up has been a symbol of civil rights activism and as a result suffered a history of persecution.

3. Roof reportedly sat in the Wednesday bible study for an hour, listening to the churchgoers discuss the Bible and refusing their requests that he share and speak his mind. NBC News reports that Roof told police he “almost didn’t go through with it because everyone was so nice to him.”

4. Authorities said Roof didn’t just spray bullets randomly into a crowd. He walked up to each person individually and shot them, taking careful aim. A witness says he left one woman alive and told her she could live just so she could tell the story of what happened.

5. Calls for the death penalty are coming loudly. Roof’s own uncle, Carson Cowles said “I’d be the executioner myself if they would allow it.” South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley told TODAY she wants him to get the death penalty.

6. President Barack Obama and other activists have tried to make this case about gun rights, saying America needs to make it more difficult to obtain guns. Gun rights advocates have vehemently refuted this, accusing the left of politicizing the tragedy and saying there’s no way to ever fully eradicate violence.

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