U.S. to Seek Death Penalty in South Carolina Mass Shooting

Dylann Roof is charged in the shooting of nine Africian-Americans at Bible study

Dylann Roof is charged in the killings of nine black parishioners during a Bible study last year in South Carolina. (Photo by Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Images)

The Justice Department will seek the death penalty for Dylann Roof, the suspect in a mass shooting at a South Carolina church last year that prosecutors allege was racially motivated.  

Roof, 22, who is white, allegedly opened fire at a Bible study last June 17 in Charleston, killing nine black parishioners at the Emanuel AME Church.  

“The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement announcing the decision after what she called a "rigorous review" of the case.  

Roof is awaiting trial.  

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