Some Media Outlets Link Charleston Church Shooter’s Crime With Drug Previously In His Possession

| by Nathaly Pesantez

On Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it opened a hate crime investigation into the shooting at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church that left nine dead Wednesday. 

“The only reason someone would walk into a church and shoot people that were praying is hate,” Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said, according to CNN. 

But some outlets report that the suspect, Dylann Roof, was taking a drug that allegedly leads to random outbursts of violence. 

CBS News reports that Roof had been arrested twice in Columbia, South Carolina, since January. In the first arrest, a Schedule 3 narcotic called Suboxone was found on him, according to the International Business Times. 

Suboxone and Subutex are the commercial names for products that contain buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opiate addiction.

The Daily Mail cites “stories shared by users and their partners online” in its report that Dylann Roof, the suspect, “was taking a drug linked to sudden outbursts of violence.”

According to The Daily Mail, a user wrote the following on “I am not an excessively violent person, but on Subutex it took very little for me to lose it and start slapping or at least make very serious threats, way out of proportion to the perceived offense people made.”

“Mood swings or feelings of aggression or depression” were not listed on the product’s safety information, reports The Daily Mail.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lists “mood swings” as a commonly reported side effect of Subutex and Suboxone, reports the International Business Times.

"There is no indication that there is a link between aggression and buprenorphine-containing products such as SUBOXONE Film," a representative from Indivior, the company that represents manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, told the Daily Mail.

No news sources have reported that Roof was under the influence of any drug on the night of the shooting. 

Sources: Daily Mail, CNN, CBS News, International Business Times
Photo Credit: Daily Mail