A man suspected of shooting nine people in a Charleston, South Carolina, church on Wednesday night may have been given the gun as a birthday present.
According to his uncle Carson Cowles, who spoke to Reuters on Thursday, Dylann Roof, 21, was given the gun he used in the shooting as a birthday present from his father.
Roof stands accused of shooting and murdering nine people in a historic black church in South Carolina during a prayer meeting.
The FBI were able to identify the 21-year-old as the shooter on Thursday, and he is reportedly in police custody, FOX Carolina reports.
According to Cowles, he discovered Roof was arrested through a photo released by police. He described the alleged shooter as a quiet, soft-spoken individual.
“Nobody in my family had seen anything like this coming,” Cowles told Reuters. “I said, if it is him and when they catch him he’s got to pay for this.”
He allegedly received a .45 caliber pistol from his father this year.
Cowles claims he once told his sister, Roof's mother, that he was worried about the young man.
“I said he was like 19 years old, he still didn’t have a job, a driver’s license or anything like that and he just stayed in his room a lot of the time,” the uncle recounted.
Reuters reportedly reached out to Roof's mother, Amelia Roof, but she refused to give an interview.
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