Charleston Killer Planned to Shoot up College Campus Instead of a Church, Claims Black Drinking Buddy Who Says They Were ‘Homeboys’
Kieran Corcoran, Daily Mail, June 21, 2015
Charleston race killer Dylann Roof originally planned to shoot up a college before changing his mind and massacring worshipers in church, according to a shocked black drinking buddy who counted Roof as a ‘homeboy’.
Christon Scriven, 22, said that Roof drunkenly described a scheme to massacre students on the College of Charleston campus just a week ago.
But Roof seemingly modified his plan when he sat in on a Bible study class at the city’s AME Emanuel Church for almost an hour, then opened fire on his nine victims.
Scriven said he didn’t believe Roof would actually carry out his plans for a mass shooting–but was still scared he could turn violent, so hid his gun when he wasn’t looking.
He and another friend–Roof’s high school pal Joey Meek–stashed his .45-caliber handgun, a birthday present, in an air condition vent, but gave it back once they had all sobered up.
Roof would go on to use the weapon in the church massacre just days later. Scriven has said he and other friends are now racked with guilt at the thought they could have done something to prevent the shootings.
He opened up about his friendship with Roof on Friday, the same day the killer made his first court appearance, and was formally charged with the nine murders, for which he could face the death penalty.
Scriven said the young men would often drink in the Lexington, South Carolina, trailer park along where he lives next door to Meek, who originally introduced the two.
‘One night we all got drunk together and since then, me and Dylann were just homeboys,’ Scriven said. ‘We would just chill every day.’
Describing Roof’s plan for a college shooting, he said: ‘He just said he was going to hurt a bunch of people.’
‘I said: “What did you say? Why do you want to hurt those people in Charleston?”‘
‘He just said: “In seven days. . . . I have seven days.”‘
Scriven speculated that Roof could have backed down from attacking the College of Charleston once he realized it has security.
He said: ‘I don’t think the church was his primary target because he told us he was going for the school. But I think he couldn’t get into the school because of the security. . . so I think he just settled for the church.’
But Scriven said that he never spoke with Roof about race, instead chatting about fishing, NASCAR and guns. Roof’s now-deleted social media accounts also listed several black people as friends.
One of them, Caleb Brown, knew Roof in grade school and high school. He said: ‘He never once said anything to me derogatory, racist, anything like that. Otherwise we would have not been friends.’
Speaking to CBS News, he said neither Roof nor his family seemed to be hateful people.
He said: ‘If something in him turned, then it was recent. It wasn’t his whole life; he wasn’t sitting, bubbling with hatred towards black people–no, that just happened and I don’t know why.’
But Roof’s other drinking buddy, Meek, who is white, said Thursday that he had heard Roof drunkenly make racist rants in the past.
He said that between sips of vodka, Roof would say that ”blacks were taking over the world’ and that ‘someone needed to do something about it for the white race.’
Scriven said that in the course of their friendship, Roof confessed that he was unhappy, bouncing between the homes of his divorced parents.
He would stay for days at the mobile home park, smoking American Spirit cigarettes and drinking hard, before going home for a few days to get clothes and money.
Scriven said he could tell Roof was depressed, and that he complained that he wasn’t getting the love and emotional support he needed from his parents. When he got upset, Roof would retreat to his car, blasting a cassette tape of opera.
He said: ‘I don’t think his parents liked his decisions, the choices that he made to have black friends,’ Scriven recounted.
‘His mom had taken the gun from him and somehow he went back and took it from her. . . . That’s when we saw the gun for the first time: .45 with a high-point laser beam.’