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How Small Town Officers Captured the Most Wanted Man in America

June 22, 2015  | 

Photo from a white supremacist Website showing Dylann Roof, the suspect in the Charleston church shooting.
Photo from a white supremacist Website showing Dylann Roof, the suspect in the Charleston church shooting.

For 13 hours and 44 minutes last week, an unemployed high school dropout just barely of legal drinking age was the most wanted man in the United States.

Dylann Storm Roof — who is white – is accused of mercilessly shooting nine African-American people with a semiautomatic handgun equipped with laser sights on Wednesday evening inside a historic church in Charleston, S.C.

The 21-year-old avowed white supremacist allegedly told one survivor that he would let her live so she could tell the story of what he’d done. Then he fled into the night.

After that startling scene, Roof’s getaway and the ensuing manhunt ended in an unexpectedly mundane fashion and in an unlikely place: a traffic stop in Shelby, a small town between Charlotte and Asheville in the rolling foothills of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

“The planning was done as they were getting prepared to stop him,” Chief Jeff Ledford of the Shelby Police Department told Yahoo News. “When dealing with someone who may not have a lot to lose, you always worry about what they may do and what dangers they present.”


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