MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Roof, 21, entered the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, traditionally filled with black churchgoers, on Wednesday evening and shot nine people dead. Roof, who is white, told investigators he had planned to start a race war, according to CNN.
According to the network's law enforcement sources, Roof bought the handgun used in the crime at a local gun store in April, shortly after turning 21.
He reportedly had shouted racist remarks about African-Americans, before opening fire on the congregation. In a photo of Roof released by media outlets, the suspect also appears to be wearing a South African apartheid flag.
Public shootings have become more frequent in the United States in recent years. According to 2014 estimates by Harvard researchers, on average, fatal mass shootings have occurred in the United States every 64 days over the past three years.
"Urgent measures must be taken to prevent gun violence and racist crimes motivated by prejudice that affect the security of Afro-Americans, their communities and society as a whole," a statement published on the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights website read.
The UN working group condemned the attack, offering condolences to the families and friends of the victims.
Dylann Roof deserves a capital punishment, the state’s governor Nikki Haley told NBC TV Friday.