Arrow-right Camera
News >  Nation/World

FBI: White felon bought gun for Dylan Roof-style attack

This police booking photo released Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 by the Horry County Police Department in Conway, S.C., shows Benjamin McDowell. (Horry County Sheriff's Office / Associated Press)
This police booking photo released Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 by the Horry County Police Department in Conway, S.C., shows Benjamin McDowell. (Horry County Sheriff's Office / Associated Press)

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Authorities say a 29-year-old white supremacist and convicted felon bought a gun from an undercover FBI agent in South Carolina that he said he wanted to use in “the spirit of Dylann Roof.”

The FBI arrested Benjamin McDowell shortly after he bought the gun Wednesday for $109 in Myrtle Beach. McDowell is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to a sworn FBI statement, agents began investigating McDowell after he threatened a synagogue on Facebook.

The statement says McDowell posted statements online praising Roof, but did not appear to have formulated any specific attack plans. Roof faces the death penalty for killing nine black worshippers in a Charleston church.

McDowell doesn’t have an attorney. No one answered the phone at his mother’s home where he lives.


Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter

There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email webteam@spokesman.com

You have been successfully subscribed!


Top stories in Nation/World

Democrat Bill Nelson concedes to Rick Scott in Florida race for Senate

Three-term Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, D, has conceded to Gov. Rick Scott, R, in a bitter and drawn-out race to retain his seat after a series of failed legal challenges and underwhelming preliminary results from a manual statewide recount left the incumbent with almost no path to victory.