Roof claimed he planned suicide in police confession video

Roof claimed he planned suicide in police confession video
Still from a video that the government shows Roof leaving the church on the night of the shooting. (Source: U.S. Dist. Court of S.C.)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The man charged in the shooting deaths of nine people at a downtown Charleston church told FBI agents he planned to kill himself after the shooting.

Prosecutors are playing a two-hour video of Dylann Roof's interview with the FBI following his capture in Shelby, North Carolina the day after the June 17, 2015, shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church.

Roof, who faces 33 federal charges, including hate crimes, told investigators he planned to kill himself but changed his mind when no police officers showed up immediately after the shooting. Earlier in court, surveillance video appeared to show Roof leaving the church after the shooting with a gun in hand, then getting into a car and driving away.

The playing of the video in court Friday is the first time the video has been made public.

After standard questions about knowing his rights, FBI agent Michael Stansbury made a minute of small talk about Roof's family, where he went to school and what he did for a living.

When Stansbury asked Roof what happened last night, he paused for about 20 seconds. Then Roof said "Uh, I did it."

Roof was speaking calmly. A few minutes later he said he thought he killed about five people.

In the video, Roof tells agents he chose the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in part because it is the oldest black church in the South. He also says he knew there would be a small group of blacks there. He says he had driven by the church before the shooting to inquire about worship services.

Roof also tells agents he committed the slayings because he said blacks were raping white women and killing each other, and that what he did was much more "minuscule" than that.

His defense team has largely conceded his guilt and has instead tried to focus on sparing him the death penalty.

Roof faces life in prison or the death penalty if convicted.

Defense files motion to introduce evidence on Roof's state of mind at time of shooting

In the motion filed Friday morning, defense attorneys argue that evidence about Roof's state of mind and personal characteristics is relevant in the guilt phase for several reasons, including the fact that the prosecution's first witness, survivor Felicia Sanders, testified about what she believed Roof's state of mind and characteristics were at the time and because without such evidence for the defense being allowed, the guilt phase of the trial will be "one-sided and a disservice to justice."

Various videos and images were shown to jurors Thursday, including surveillance video of the churchgoers entering the building. The jury saw a bloody scene with victims lying on the floor and ammunition magazines scattered around the room.

Prosecutors also showed video of the accused gunman arriving and leaving alone later that night.

Copyright 2016 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.