Charleston suspect seized thanks to Christian florist who tailed his car

Police lead suspected shooter Dylann Roof into the courthouse in Shelby, North Carolina, on June 18, 2015.Reuters

The suspect in the Charleston shootings was arrested thanks to a Christian florist's hunch.

Debbie Dills, minister of music at West Cramerton Baptist Church in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, had seen pictures of Dylann Roof and his car on a police alert. She was on her way to work yesterday when she thought she recognised the car and Roof's distinctive haircut.

"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," Dills said Thursday afternoon. "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?"

She called her boss Todd Frady to ask his advice and he called the police.

However, rather than continue in to work, she followed Roof's car for around 25 miles, remaining on the phone to Frady. The police arrived within 15 minutes and Roof was arrested.

She recalled thinking: "What if that really was him?" "I have friends going to the mountains this weekend, so if it that was him and something would happen again, what would I do? It kept eating at me, and something told me to keep following him," she said.

She said she had been praying for the victims in Charleston since the news of the shooting broke.

"I was in church last night myself. I had seen the news coverage before I went to bed and started praying for those families down there," she said. "Those people were in their church just trying to learn the word of God and trying to serve. When I saw a picture of that pastor this morning, my heart just sank."

She added: "It was God who made this happen. It don't have nothing to do with Debbie. It don't have nothing to do with Todd. It's all about him.

"He answered the prayers of those people who were praying in Charleston last night, who were holding hands and praying."