Charleston Church Massacre Victims' Families Confront Alleged Killer

Several family members of the nine people killed spoke to Dylann Roof at his first court appearance.
7:17 | 06/20/15

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Transcript for Charleston Church Massacre Victims' Families Confront Alleged Killer
Today we heard from the family of accused mass murderer dylann roof. In a written statement offering their condolences to those who lost loved ones in Wednesday's massacre. We're also hearing from those families, still reeling of course, and yet proving they're not just relatives of victims, they're people of deep and abiding faith. In the aftermath of the tragedy in Charleston. This is the case of state versus dylann roof -- Reporter: The irony was palpable. This baby-faced, polite southern man -- You're unemployed at this time? Yes, sir. Reporter: Accused of the most heinous of crimes. Mr. Roof, you're charged with nine counts of murder, one count of possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime -- Reporter: Facing on a video link the people whose loved ones he allegedly stole. You took something very precious away from me. For me, I'm a work in progress and I acknowledge that I am very angry. Every fiber in my body hurts. And I'll never be the same. Reporter: The relatives all off-camera, all on point. Faith, love, forgiveness. You hurt a lot of people. But god forgives you and I forgive you. I forgive you, my family forgive you. We are the family that love built. We have no room for hate. So we have to forgive. Reporter: It was what none of us expected. But what all of us hope we're capable of. Even Felicia sanders, mother to one of the victims who survived the shooting herself by playing dead. We welcomed you Wednesday night in our bible study with open arms. You have killed some of the most beautifulest people that I know. That juw that Juan intra reserve tywanza sanders is my son. Tywanza was my hero. But as we said in bible study, we enjoyed you. But may god have mercy on you. Reporter: Outside the court the daughter of Ethel lance addressing the question so many of us were wondering. The last family that's going to be okay. And that's all I have to say. How do you express forgiveness in there? I'm a Christian woman. I believe in god. Reporter: This opportunity to forgive in court made possible by the most unlikely of detectives. A florist in North Carolina. Something just kept telling me, you need -- there's something about that car. Reporter: Debbie Dills says she spotted a car she recognized from the news coverage of Wednesday night's massacre. She ended up following him for 30 miles, relaying his license plate and location to police. Just something about it. It had to be the lord. I was afraid, I was scared, I'm not trying to be heroic here or anything. I was afraid. Because I didn't know what he might do, because look what he'd already done. Reporter: Roof had been on the run for more than 12 hours, driving 250 miles from Charleston to Shelby after police say he gunned down nine people at historic mother Emanuel ame church late Wednesday. In the warrant released by authorities, new details about the shooting. All victims were hit multiple times. Roof is described as acting with malice and aforethought. Standing over a witness, one of the survivors, and uttering a racially inflammatory statement. It seems the defense is in a really tough position. Sure looks like there's a lot of evidence against him. The interesting question is going to be what if he said, I'll plead guilty but you've got to take the death penalty off the table. In many, many cases, prosecutors would accept that. In this case? I think they probably won't. Reporter: With him now in custody, much of the conversation today turning to a search for an explanation, meaning. What triggered roof? Was it hate, terror, mental illness? It sure seems like he knew exactly what he was doing. And he was doing it because he wanted to kill people. Because he hated them. Reporter: One clue, this photo. Flag patches from roof's jacket. One from apartheid-era south Africa, the other from the former rhodesia when it was ruled by a white minority, now called Zimbabwe. This was not merely a mass shooting, not merely a matter of gun violence. This was a racial hate crime and must be confronted as such. Reporter: But another flag front and center today -- Certainly symbolically we cannot have the confederate flag waving in the state capitol. Reporter: It is an old and bitter debate in South Carolina. And as we were reminded today, passion on both sides. Being a relative of Robert E. Lee, I think it's part of our history. Maybe it shouldn't be forefront and center in front of the statehouse. But I think that it's still something that people need to see and remember that happened. I see a sign of hate to really tell you the truth. Hate and prejudice. I actually think they should take it down. It's just a flag. I understand some people have symbolism behind it. But there's symbolism behind lots of things. Honestly it doesn't bother me. Reporter: Those who know him say roof's alleged plan was six months in the making. This friend telling me colleague roof had a deep hatred for african-americans. What did he want to see happen? He wanted something big like trayvon martin. He wanted to make something spark up the race war again. Reporter: Meek and his mother Kim saw roof Tuesday. They say he always had a gun with him. What kind of guns did he have? .45 Glock. Did he carry it around? In his car. Reporter: On this day of pain and irony, an unexpected word from the unlikeliest friend of an accused mass murderer with a reported hatred of black people. He had a small group of select friends. I was one of them. I'm obviously of color. Reporter: Caleb brown says he and roof were childhood friends. Whatever road led roof to a black church with a loaded gun, brown says his life didn't start that way. It makes absolutely no sense at all. And that's why I'd say I still can't even really fathom that it was him that committed all of those heinous crimes. ? Oh the saints of god ? Reporter: No matter who or what dylann roof was or is, he was not the focus of those who prayed and cried in Charleston this evening. Tonight the largest visible Jill so far for the nine who died. A hateful, deranged young man took their lives. Reporter: Roof allegedly wanted to start a race war. It wa appear what he sparked was a revival. A reaffirmation of a nation's promise, not its problems.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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