The baby-faced killer sat at the back of the church building.
Reverend Clementa Pinckney helpfully handed him a Bible.
He sat there for 45 minutes and then, when the congregation stood up and closed their eyes to pray, he produced a Glock 45 pistol and started shooting.
Reverend Pinckney was shot three times. Daniel Simmons, 74, was a veteran who normally carried a gun. He had left it in his car. He charged at the shooter but was shot four times.
An 87 year old woman was shot 11 times. Tywanza Sanders tried to reason with the killer, standing in front of his mum, aunty and baby niece to try and protect them. He was gunned down.
His mum, Felicia, played dead on the floor in a pool of her son's blood, holding her hand over the whimpering baby's mouth, pressing so tight she feared she would suffocate the girl.
Polly Sheppard, a retired nurse, remained standing and praying as the massacre took place. The killer walked up to her and told her to shut up. He asked if she was shot, she replied no. He said: "I'm going to leave you here to tell the story.”
Nine people were killed. It was later revealed the killer, Dylann Roof, had been reluctant to target the church members as they had been so nice to him on a previous visit.
Instead he decided to commit a massacre at a local school but found security was too tight.
When arrested the next day and interviewed by cops he said, laughing, "I went to that church in Charleston and I did it… I killed them, I guess. I don't really know how many people…"
But now, after the US Court of Appeal rejected his final plea to avoid the death penalty on Wednesday, the 27-year-old is facing death by lethal injection.
Roof's killings, in 2015 shocked America, not least because it showed how an ordinary kid, who once had black friends, could be converted into a racist monster.
The trial heard Roof, an unemployed loner, became obsessed with racist sites on the internet. As his obsession grew, he drove hundreds of miles visiting slavery plantations and Confederate history sites.
He even appealed on Craigslist for a travelling companion, stating "no Jews, queers, or n*****s.”
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He began to download books about the Ku Klux Klan, joined racist chat sites and decided he would start a race war.
On a hidden website he created, packed with Nazi and Confederate symbols, he wrote: "I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight.
"I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet.
"Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me."
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During the appeal against his death sentence, lawyers argued Roof had been unfit to stand trial.
They pointed out he had defended himself in court and had refused to discuss if he was mentally impaired – apparently because Roof believed he was going to be rescued by white supremacists, but only if he did not plead insanity.
They pointed out Roof even wore shoes to court which he had drawn neo-Nazi codes and Klan runes on, and that one day he thought, after a race war, he would be pardoned by a sympathetic president.
But he got no sympathy from the three-judge appeal panel.
In their ruling, they wrote: “The church members had welcomed him. He slaughtered them. He did so with the express intent of terrorising not just his immediate victims, but as many similar people as would hear of the mass murder….
"His crimes qualify him for the harshest penalty that a just society can impose."
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