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Video: North Carolina Florist Helped Catch Charleston Church Killer

June 19, 2015  | 

VIDEO: North Carolina Florist Helped Catch Charleston Church Killer

A North Carolina woman's attention to detail helped bring Thursday's manhunt for alleged gunman Dylann Roof to a quick resolution.

Early Thursday morning, police released pictures from surveillance footage showing Roof, 21, outside the Charleston, South Carolina, church where he allegedly killed nine people Wednesday night. Police also released a photo and description of Roof's car.

Later in the morning, Debbie Dills was on her way to work at a florist shop in Kings Mountain, North Carolina – about 250 miles north of Charleston -- when a car caught her eye.

"I’d been watching a lot of the news coverage starting the night before and I’d been really thinking and praying about the people there and how horrific what happened to them was," she told ABC News.

"I'd seen pictures of the car and pictures of the young man, and I looked over and noticed the car," Dills said. "And I just couldn't figure out why I was looking at it.

"And then I realized, I had seen the car. I'd seen the South Carolina state license plate on the car. And then I'd seen the haircut," she said. "The things the news was telling us to look for or to look at."

Dills called her boss, who contacted police.

Dills then decided "to follow him to see if I could get the tag number," she said.

"Once the call came in and she told us where she was in the city, then we were able to get our cars over to her," Shelby Police Chief Jeffrey Ledford told ABC News. "Of course at that point [the police are] following behind him to identify the car to make sure they got the right one."

Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Tom Conlin @ 6/20/2015 9:46 AM

God bless you, Ms. Dills!!! So many people refuse to get involved, saying it's the job of the police to find the crooks. But the word "police" comes from the Latin "politia," which means citizenship. Police and citizens cannot, and should not be separated. We depend on partners like you to do the best job we can. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Jon Retired LEO @ 6/20/2015 10:53 AM

Good job Ms Dillis. You are a good and brave citizen. You kept a cool head about you and did the right thing! Although I know you won't, but you are entitled to a personal thank you from the President and Sharpton.

TX Lawman @ 6/22/2015 6:22 AM

Great job Debbie Dills! What an eye and memory. You brought a violent criminal to justice. You are a HERO in my book. Do you need a job? We could use an astute person like yourself. God Bless you for stepping up.

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