Dylann Roof’s Family Life
Dylann Storm Roof was born on the 3rd of April, 1994 in Colombia, South Carolina to parents Amelia (Amy) Cowles and Franklin Bennett (Benn) Roof. Although not together at the time, the two reunited at the time of his birth, however there was initially some question about his paternity. Shortly after his birth, Dylann’s parents separated again and he spent the majority of his early years in the custody of his mother Amy.
In November 1999, when Dylann was five, his father married Paige Mann, but they divorced after ten years of marriage. The family mostly lived in South Carolina, though from about 2005 to 2008, they temporarily moved to the Florida Keys.
Prior to the attack, he was living alternately in Benn and Amy’s homes in downtown Columbia and Hopkins, respectively, but was mostly raised by his stepmother Paige Mann.
Throughout his childhood Dylann experienced a lack of supervision, a chaotic home environment including exposure to domestic disputes and possible violence, instability in his mothers relationships, residences and school placements, and lack of structure.
Dylann attended sessions at Lexington County Community Mental Health Centre with his mother in regards to his mental health and addiction to marijuana.
Dylann’s brother-in-law Michael Tyo described trying to talk with Dylann in the years before the shooting, but without success, ‘His responses were short; yes, no, bye, and he didn’t respond to a lot of things I would say. It was kind of like I wasn’t there or I didn’t say anything. It got to the point where I wouldn’t say anything to him other than hey.’
His maternal uncle, Carson Cowles, said that he expressed concern about the social withdrawal of his then-nineteen-year-old nephew, because “he still didn’t have a job, a driver’s license or anything like that and he just stayed in his room a lot of the time.”
Amy said he tried to mentor Dylann, but was rejected and they drifted apart. He cut off all contact with Paige after her divorce from his father. When his sister planned to be married, he did not respond to her invitation to the event.