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Witness Reportedly Says Dylann Roof Attempted Suicide After Church Shooting

The son of one of the Charleston victims reportedly spoke with a survivor of the attack who said the gunman tried to shoot himself but ran out of bullets.
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The son of a victim of the Charleston church shooting reportedly spoke with a survivor who claims alleged gunman Dylann Roof tried to kill himself immediately after the attack.

Kevin Singleton, whose mother was one of nine people killed in the attack, told the Los Angeles Times that after the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church, the gunman tried turn his pistol on himself.

"He pointed the gun at his head and pulled the trigger, but it went 'click,'" Singleton said, suggesting the shooter ran out of bullets. "His plan was never to leave that church."


Roof, 21, was arrested Thursday and charged with the murder of all nine victims. He could face the death penalty.

Singleton told the Times that one of the two adult survivors of the massacre, 69-year-old Polly Sheppard, told him about the suicide attempt.

The Times said a woman who answered the telephone at Sheppard's house on Saturday refused to comment.

VICE News' requests for verification from the Charleston Police were not immediately answered.

Related: Website Surfaces With Disturbing Photos and Manifesto Purportedly Written by Dylann Roof

Roof's alleged actions are being treated as a hate crime. On Saturday, a website surfaced containing photos of Roof posing with the Confederate flag and showing off a .45 caliber handgun, the same type of weapon used in the church shooting. The website, which is now offline, also contained a virulently racist manifesto purportedly written by Roof.

According to various reports, Roof entered the historic black church and sat in Bible class for an hour before he opened fire. He also reportedly used racist language during the rampage.

On Sunday, the church had its first service since the shooting. An emotional crowd spilled out onto the street, and bouquets and balloons adorned the steps to the entrance in honor of the victims.

"It has been tough, it's been rough, some of us have been downright angry, but through it all God has sustained us and has encouraged us. Let us not grow weary in well­doing," said Reverend Norvel Goff, who was appointed to temporarily lead the church after Reverend Clementa Pinckney was killed in the attack.

Related: Historic Charleston Church Holds Emotional Sunday Service Days After Deadly Shooting

Follow Gillian Mohney on Twitter: @gillianmohney