Accused Charleston church shooter facing hate crime charges
CHARLESTON, S.C. – A man accused of shooting and killing nine people during a Bible study group in Charleston last month is now facing federal hate charges.
On June 17, authorities say Dylann Roof shot and killed nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Roof was captured in North Carolina the day after the attack and was brought back to South Carolina, where he allegedly admitted to the murders.
Roof reportedly told authorities that he had been planning the attack for a long time, adding that he wanted to start a race war.
Roof has told police that he “almost didn’t go through with it because everyone was so nice to him.”
On Wednesday, federal hate crime charges were filed against Roof.
“We think that this is exactly the type of case that the federal hate crimes statutes were, in fact, conceived of to cover,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “Racially motivated violence such as this is the original domestic terrorism.”
If found guilty, he faces life in prison or the death penalty.