Charleston Church victims' relatives face alleged attacker in court

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By: Associated Press

Church victims’ family face alleged attacker in court

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Felecia Sanders survived the attack on her Bible study group by pretending to be dead, but lost her son Tywanza.

On Friday, she came face to face with the alleged shooter, as she had the night of the slaughter.

Sanders was one of several family members of victims to be given a chance to address the court during Dylann Storm Roof’s bond hearing. She and others forgave him. They advised him to repent for his sins, and asked for God’s mercy on his soul. One even told Roof to repent and confess, and “you’ll be OK.”

A black drinking buddy of Roof says that a week before the attack, the suspect announced plans to shoot up a college campus.

Christon Scriven told The Associated Press on Friday that on June 10, while they were getting drunk on vodka, Roof announced plans to carry out a mass shooting seven days later at the College of Charleston.

Scriven says he thought the threat was just drunken bluster. Still, he and another friend, Joey Meek, were concerned enough that they went out to Roof’s car and retrieved Roof’s handgun, hiding it until they all sobered up.

In interviews, Roof’s friends described a troubled 21-year-old man who alternated between racist rants and partying with black friends.

Roof is charged with nine counts of murder in connection with Wednesday’s shooting. His bond on a weapons charge was set at $1 million.