Charleston Shooter Attacked in Jail Shower
Dylann Roof, the white man charged in the massacre of nine Black churchgoers at a Charleston, SC church in June 2015, was attacked Thursday by a Black inmate at the South Carolina jail where he is being held, CBS News reports.
Officials say Dwayne Stafford ran down the stairs from his cell after Roof entered the shower around 7:45 a.m. Thursday and hit him. According to a police report, the 22-year-old’s face and back were bruised in the attack.
Earlier, authorities said Stafford would be charged with assault, but Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon told reporters that Roof and his attorneys do not want to press charges.
Stafford, 26, is awaiting trial on first-degree assault and strong armed robbery charges. Officials are investigating how Stafford managed to get through a cell door to reach Roof.
The incident marks the jail’s first with Roof.
Roof has been housed at the Charleston County Detention Center since being brought back from North Carolina on June 18, 2015 — a day after he committed the heinous act at Emanuel AME Church. Prosecutors say Roof was trying to make his way to Nashville after the shootings.
Roof is facing the death penalty in both the federal and state court systems. The federal government has charged Roof with hate crimes and other offenses. Prosecutors allege Roof spoke of starting a race war and posed with the Confederate flag before the killings.
The state court is also seeking to punish Roof via the death penalty. In that setting, he is charged with nine counts of murder.
Attorneys representing Roof in the federal case have asked a judge to declare the federal death penalty charge unconstitutional. Their argument is that the move would clear the way for Roof to plead guilty.
He goes to federal trial in November, with a state trial set to begin next year. Check back for updates.