South Carolina Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty in Charleston Church Shooting Case

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Nine Dead After Church Shooting In Charleston
Photo: Handout/2015 Charleston County Sheriff's Office

State prosecutors in South Carolina will reportedly seek the death penalty for Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old accused of fatally shooting nine black people attending Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston in June. According to court documents filed on Thursday, the prosecutors thought the death penalty was warranted because more than two people were killed. Roof is supposed to be in court again in October for the state charges; he also faces federal hate-crime charges. State prosecutors have said they believe the crime was racially motivated, but South Carolina is one of five states that do not have a hate-crime law. It is not clear yet which set of charges — state or federal — will be dealt with first.