Crime & Courts

Sister of Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof made threat, had weapon at AC Flora

The younger sister of convicted mass killer Dylann Roof is accused of possessing weapons on school grounds — which, she told investigators, she needed for protection.

Morgan Roof, 18, was charged with simple possession of marijuana and two felony counts of carrying weapons on school grounds, according to the Richland County Sheriff's Department.

Officials said an administrator contacted the school resource officer Wednesday about Morgan Roof with marijuana and weapons. No students were harmed.

Roof later told an investigator she had the weapons with her at school "for protection," according to Lt. Curtis Wilson, spokesman for the sheriff's department. There's been no word on specific threats she faced, and Wilson said the sheriff's department has no record of prior incidents involving her.

John Delgado, a Columbia attorney representing Roof's family, said Thursday afternoon that they had no comment.

Morgan Roof also had made a social media post on Snapchat that alarmed the student body at A.C. Flora, officials said. In the post, she said she hoped the students participating in the National Walkout Day would "get shot."

Students across the U.S. participated in the walkout, which protested violence in schools after a Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people. A.C. Flora was one of the participating schools in the Midlands.

Based on what Morgan Roof posted online, she disagreed with the walkout. What struck a nerve was her comment that "we know it's fixing to be nothing but black people walkin out anyway."

"Your walking out for the allowed time of 17min, they are letting you do this, nothing is gonna change what tf you think it's gonna do? I hope it's a trap and y'all get shot we know it's fixing to be nothing but black people walkin out anyway. No offense ofc buuut," Morgan Roof posted.

Dylann Roof, a self-avowed white supremacist, told FBI agents he wanted to start a race war when he killed nine black parishioners during a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in June 2015. He was convicted in December 2016 on federal charges in connection with the killings and currently is on federal death row in Indiana.

During a visit in jail in South Carolina, Morgan Roof bid her half-brother a farewell. "I love you, Dylann, even if you don't love me back." He responded, "OK."

Morgan Roof was taken to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center and released Wednesday night on $615 bond, according to Richland County court records.

State Law Enforcement Division records show she has no prior criminal record in South Carolina. She faces up to five years in prison for each weapons charge, if convicted.

"Potential tragedy was avoided at AC Flora High School," S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster said in a news release. "We owe a debt of gratitude to all involved who acted so quickly and decisively."

On her Tumblr page, Morgan Roof tells readers not to ask her about her brother on Snapchat but says she doesn't mind answering questions on the blog.

"Tell any fact about Dylann! Why are you both keep [sic] silent," one user asked in October.

"Because y'all are (expletive) crazy and we don’t want to answer to psychos who obsess about a (expletive) mass murderer," Roof wrote in response. "I respond to people who are interested in the case not people who call him daddy that’s (expletive) sick."

She posted several pictures of her and Dylann as young children on the blog, including one that appears to show a young Dylann holding her when she was a baby.

"He was always my buddy," she wrote beneath the collage of pictures.

Another Tumbler user asked Morgan Roof if she cared that her brother is going to die.

"Of course I care," she said, "but I'm not gonna let what he did effect [sic] what I do and how I live my life. I’m happy bc I deserve to be. I have an amazing life and friends and support system. I went through and still have to deal with something unbelievably terrible that nobody understands. I choose not to let what he did ruin my happiness."

The family lived in Columbia from 2000 to 2005. Morgan and Dylann share the same father, Franklin “Benn” Roof, who worked as a contractor. Paige Roof, Morgan’s biological mother and Dylann’s stepmother, was a “stay-at-home mom,” cooking and cleaning and taking care of the children, according to divorce records filed in Family Court.

In 2005, Benn Roof moved the family to the Florida Keys. The couple had owned two houses in Columbia worth about $179,000, as well as two houses in the Keys worth about $1.1 million. But after the move to the Keys, the marriage began to deteriorate.

In 2008, Paige Roof alleged physical abuse at the hands of Benn and the couple moved back to Columbia, and they separated the following year. After Paige and Morgan moved out of the house they shared with Benn Roof, Paige asked for custody, child support and possession of one of the houses.

Dylann Roof pleaded guilty in state court last April to nine counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder for the church massacre. A judge sentenced him to nine consecutive life sentences on those charges.

Reporter Cody Dulaney contributed.
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