Twelve federal jurors decided Dylann S. Roof should be put to death on Tuesday (Jan 10.) for the 2015 fatal shooting of nine black churchgoers in South Carolina.
Roof’s victims ranged in age from 26 to 87 and included a pastor and state senator, family matriarchs and patriarchs, a retired teacher, a track coach, and speech therapist, a librarian, two mothers of teenage children, and a young college graduate.
Two women and two children survived the shooting by hiding under a desk and table as 77 bullets flew through the basement walls and victims’ bodies that evening at the conclusion of Bible study, the gunfire erupting from Roof’s Glock .45 just as the group closed their eyes and stood to pray. Another woman was spared by Roof. He told her she could live in order to tell others of the killings.
A jury of 10 women and two men recommended the death penalty for all 18 counts that carried that as a possible sentence.
Judge Richard Gergel will formally sentence Roof on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. ET. Roof, who represented himself during the penalty phase, told Gergel he wanted to file a motion for new lawyers. Gergel said Roof can argue that on Wednesday but he is not inclined to let that happen, CNN reports.