Avowed racist mass murderer Dylann Roof was formally indicted on Tuesday for nine counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and possessing a weapon during commission of violent crime. Roof is responsible for the slaying of nine parishioners at Emmanuel A.M.E. church in Charleston, SC that shocked the nation last month.
The Charleston solicitor added the three attempted murder charges because three of the 12 crime victims survived. According to court records, Felicia Sanders and her granddaughter pretended to be dead, while another woman, identified as Polly Sheppard, fell to her knees in prayer. Roof allegedly told Sheppard he was going to let her live so she could tell others what happened in the church. “’You all rape women and you’re taking over our country,'” the surviving witnesses stated Roof shouted while shooting. Roof was arrested the next day and charged for his crime after being treated to a Burger King meal by police.
Unfortunately, since South Carolina has no hate crime laws, it will be up to the federal government to bring any hate crime charges. The Justice Department announced it was opening a hate crime investigation in June. Since the shooting, there has been a push to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the SC Statehouse because it is seen as a symbol of hate. Since the shooting, the SC legislature voted to remove the Confederate flag and place it in the Statehouse museum.