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Dylann Roof, suspect in Charleston shooting, formally indicted on murder charges

Prosecutors formally indicted Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old man accused of killing nine worshippers at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, on several counts of murder and attempted murder on Tuesday, The Post and Courier reported.

A grand jury filed 13 charges against Roof, who is white, for the June 17 killings inside the Emanuel AME Church, a historically black church. Prosecutors presented three additional attempted murder charges for each of the three survivors of the shooting, on top of the previous nine counts of murder. Roof also faces one count of possessing a weapon during a violent crime.

Scalett A. Wilson, Charleston County’s prosecutor, has yet to decide whether to seek a death penalty in the case. Calling Roof a “person filled with hate,” South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said weeks ago that the accused shooter deserved the death penalty.

Following the shooting, photos emerged of Roof posing with the Confederate battle flag. Federal investigators are also looking into a racist manifesto, possibly written by Roof, that embraces white supremacist ideology to help determine the motivation for the Charleston attacks. The Justice Department is investigating the shooting as a hate crime.

Roof’s association with the Confederate flag also reignited debates over the history of racial violence in the U.S. Since the shooting, several retailers stopped selling Confederate flag merchandise, and the South Carolina Senate voted Monday to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds.

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