Mike Hayes, a senior reporter for Buzzfeed News, live-tweeted the opening day of Dylan Roof’s trial, painting a chilling picture of the horrific massacre that left nine people dead at the historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.
During his opening statements, prosecutor Jay Richardson said Roof joined a bible study group on the evening of June 17, 2015, with the explicit intention of murdering fellow attendees. He also left behind documents hyping “his brand, his logo, his self designed symbol of hated.”
Following attorney David Bruck’s opening statement for the defense—wherein the lawyer admitted Roof “is the person who did this”—prosecutors called Felicia Sanders, a survivor of the attack.
In his report on the trial, Hayes expanded on Sander’s emotional testimony:
“I said, ‘I love you, Tywanza, I love you, Tywanza,’” Felicia Sanders said when asked what her last words to her 26-year-old son were. “He said, ‘I love you too, mom.’
“Then I watched my son die. I watched him take his last breath.”
According to Hayes, Prosecutors then showed “body camera footage of the Charleston police sergeant who was a a first responder.”
“Seeing what he saw as he entered the church,” Hayes tweeted.