Friend says shooting suspect Dylann Roof supported segregation

Published: Jun. 19, 2015 at 12:10 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2015 at 9:05 PM EDT
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Joey Meek (Source: WIS)
Joey Meek (Source: WIS)

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - The suspected Charleston shooter, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, was usually a quiet guy but recently voiced his opinions about race, according to a so-called best friend.

Joseph Meek, who lives off Platt Springs Road in Lexington County, told WIS that Roof was a longtime friend. Meek said the two were classmates at one point, but they fell out of contact for about five years until very recently. Meek said, for the past month or so, Roof had been staying with him for three or four days a week.

“He was under the radar and low-key,” Meek said. “He kept to himself. He didn't really have friends besides me and my friends at the time.”

Meek said he last saw Roof on Tuesday.

“He was supposed to come back to my house that night or Wednesday morning, and he never did show up,” Meek said.

It wasn't until Thursday morning that Meek finally saw his friend again. This time, however, it wasn't in person. Instead, it was Roof's image on an FBI wanted poster.

"It hit me hard, you know,” Meek said. “Seeing your best friend on there that you've known for seven years do something like this is pretty crazy."

Meek said he called the FBI to offer up the information he knew about Roof.

“The FBI was here from like 9 a.m. until like 3 p.m. questioning me and making sure everything I said was the truth,” Meek said.

The Lexington County man described Roof as normally quiet and said the two enjoyed hanging out, playing video games, and skateboarding a bit too. Meek said Roof's conversations were normally pretty tame, but he said, recently, the shooting suspect had made questionable remarks about race.

“He was just saying how he didn't agree with the Trayvon Martin case and how he wanted segregation,” Meek remembered. “He wanted it to be white with white and black with black, and he didn't believe in what the black race was doing to the white race.”

Meek said Roof was recently given a .45 caliber Glock as a gift. Meek told WIS he'd seen the gun, but never saw Roof shoot it. Meek also said Roof was a religious person in previous years he'd known the 21-year-old.

“I see that he's walked away from the Lord,” Meek said.

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