Debbie Dills, The Florist Who Helped Catch Dylann Storm Roof, Says It Was “Divine Intervention”
Debbie Dills, the florist who helped police capture Dylann Storm Roof, the alleged shooter who killed nine people in Charleston on Wednesday night, is speaking out about her scary experience.
Debbie Dills Speaks About Catching Charleston Shooter
On Thursday, Dills, 51, was driving to work when she spotted a car matching the police description of Roof’s vehicle. A manhunt for Roof began immediately after Wednesday night’s shooting, with police asking the public to be on the look out for a dark-colored 2000 Hyundai Elantra GS.
Dills was running late to work the next morning in Kings Mountain, N.C., when her car crossed paths with a dark-colored Hyundai Elantra GS. It was around 10:35 a.m. when Dills saw recognized the car and pulled over to call her boss Todd Frady and ask for advice on how to proceed.
“I saw the pictures of him [Roof] 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. I thought, ‘Nah, that’s not his car.’ Then, I got closer and saw the haircut. I was nervous. I had the worst feeling. Is that him or not him?” Dills told reporters.
Frady encouraged her to contact the police just on the off chance it was Roof driving that vehicle, and so they contacted the police together – Frady making the call while still connected to Dills. Once the police were notified, Dills decided to get back on the road in an attempt to get close enough to the vehicle to get the tags or license plate number.
“I got back on the bypass to go see just if I could get a tag number, just to see – just had a feeling and I’m sure that was divine intervention…I feel like God had His hand in it and that He had me where I needed to be,” Dills later recounted in an interview with Today.
Debbie Dills: “[God] Made This Happen”
Dills had been particularly moved by the photos of group prayers coming out of Charleston in the aftermath of the shooting at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, and said that she had been praying for the victims and their families. “I had been praying for those people since I heard about the shooting Wednesday night…. [praying for them] to find a little bit of peace in such a terrible, horrific situation,” she told Today, adding that the people of Charleston “need to know that God heard their prayer.”
Dills has been adamant that she deserves none of the credit for catching Roof, complimenting the work of the local police and repeatedly insisting that she was “used as [a] vessel” by God to help get justice for the victims of the shooting.
“It was Him all the way, it was Him from the beginning… 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 made this happen. He answered the prayers of those people that were praying in Charleston last night, that were in those circles, holding hands and praying. God heard the prayers of those people, and he just used us as vessels to get His work done,” she told CNN.