On July 7, 2015, a grand jury indicted Dylann Roof, the man who confessed to killing nine members of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last month, on nine counts of murder. He was also indicted on three counts of attempted murder.
The Post and Courier reports that Felicia Sanders and her granddaughter evaded bullets by pretending to be dead, and Roof told Polly Sheppard that he would let her live so that she could tell the world what had happened there. The three survivors are expected to be key witnesses for the prosecution. The trial date has not yet been released.
The FBI is still investigating the massacre as an act of domestic terrorism and a hate crime, which would carry stiffer penalties. In a statement on the case, Justice Department spokesperson Emily Pierce said:
The department’s investigation of the shooting incident in Charleston, South Carolina, is ongoing. This heartbreaking episode was undoubtedly designed to strike fear and terror into this community, and the department is looking at this crime from all angles, including as a hate crime and as an act of domestic terrorism.
We have a young man who apparently becomes radicalized as the result of an incident and becomes more radicalized as a result of what he sees on the Internet, through the use of his computer, then goes and does something, that by his own words apparently is a political/violent act. With a different set of circumstances, and if you had dialed in religion there, Islam, that would be called an act of terror. It seems to me that, again on the basis of the information that has been released, that’s what we have here. An act of terror.