Friends sand fellow students are surprised that the quiet but occasionally disruptive Dylann Roof they remember is the suspected shooter in the Charleston church killings.
Many of those interviewed Thursday had not stayed in close touch with Roof , 21, since classes together in a variety of schools in Richland and Lexington counties.
"He was kinda weird in the hyperactive, elementary schooler kind of way but he was nice." said Cade McConnell. who was a pupil at Rosewood Elementary with Roof in 2004. "Nothing ever seemed out of the ordinary. He was a little kookie in a seemingly harmless way."
Roof didn’t join others who went on to college and careers.
He told police in February that “his parents were pressuring him to get a job” during his arrest for possession of illegal narcotics, accoridng to an incident report.
Roof is facing charges for that in Lexington County after being arrested Feb. 28 by Columbia police at Columbiana Centre mall, according to an arrest warrant.
He had a bottle containing what police believe to be unprescribed suboxone pills, it said. That drug is commonly used to treat opiate addiction.
Police went to the mall after security officers there notified them that Roof was going into stores asking “out-of-the-ordinary questions” such as the number of employees and closing time, the incident report said.
During the conversation, Roof “was becoming more nervous-acting” before allowing a search in which the pills were found, it said. He was banned from the mall at the time.
On April 26, Roof was charged with trespassing after he was found in the mall’s parking lot and received an additional three-year ban.
The Charleston shootings may have been a hate crime, the Anti-Defamation league said in a statement.
A photo of Roof on his Facebook page shows him wearing a jacket with two patches used by white supremacists in Africa, it said.
His Facebook page shows African-Americbna friends.
According to Reuters News Service, the suspect’s uncle, Carson Cowles, said Roof was given a .45-caliber pistol by his father as a 21st birthday present in April.
Cowles said he recognized Roof in a photo released by police and described him as quiet and soft-spoken, according to Reuters.
Roof attended several schools in the Columbia area.
He was a student in eight grade at Carolina Springs Middle School and then ninth grade at White Knoll High School in Lexington County before leaving, officials at Lexington 1 said.
Other schools he attended include Rosewood Elementary, Hand Middle and Dreher High in Columbia but did not graduate from any Richland 1 school, Richaldn 1 spokeswoman Karen York said.