Report: Alleged Charleston Gunman Was Captured After Florist Led Police To Him

Steve Reed/AP
Gastonia, South Carolina

The Shelby Star newspaper reports that Dylann Roof’s June 18 arrest took place after a Kings Mountain, South Carolina florist spotted the suspected gunman driving on U.S. 74 and called her boss, then followed Roof to keep police apprised of his whereabouts.

According to the Star, Debbie Dills was late while driving to work at Frady’s Florist on Thursday. During the drive she spotted “Roof on U.S. 74 near Sparrow Springs Road in Gastonia.”

She knew the car was important for some reason when she spotted it, then it dawned on her that she had seen reports of the car being linked to the Charleston shooting:

I saw the pictures of him with the bowl cut. I said, “I’ve seen that car for some reason.” I look over, and it’s got a South Carolina tag on it. I thought, “Nah, that’s not his car.” Then, I got closer and saw that haircut. I was nervous. I had the worst feeling. Is that him or not him?”

Dills then called her boss–Todd Frady–to say she may have found the gunman and Frady, in turn, called “officer Shane Davis of the Kings Mountain Police Department.” He keep Dills on the phone as well, and went back and forth between Dills and the officer as a way of keeping police informed regarding Roof’s movements.

At one point in the process Dills turned off from following Roof so she could get to work, but said, “Something didn’t feel right to her.” She said she kept thinking about friends who might be endangered by Roof if he was not caught, so she turned around, caught up with him again, and continued following until police apprehended him.

She said Roof was not driving like he was trying to get away from anyone. “He wasn’t doing anything abnormal. He wasn’t driving slow. He was just driving. He just kept going.”

Officers from the Shelby Police Department pulled Roof over about 20 minutes after “Dills’ initial call to [Frady].”

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at