CHARLESTON, S.C. (MEDIA GENERAL) – The man accused of killing nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church last month was formally indicted Tuesday on nine counts of murder, according to The Post and Courier in Charleston.
Dylann Roof, 21, was also indicted on three counts of attempted murder for the victims who survived the massacre.
Roof allegedly sat through a Bible study class on June 17 before opening fire on those in attendance at Emanuel AME Church. He killed nine people, including Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who also was a South Carolina state Senator.
Roof was apprehended the next day in Shelby, North Carolina, and extradited back to Charleston.
The shooting immediately was labeled a hate crime. Survivors said Roof indicated he was “there to shoot black people.” Roof allegedly said, “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”
Investigations quickly found a website that is believed to belong to Roof that included several photos of Roof posing with the Confederate flag and his firearm, as well as a white supremacist manifesto.
The shooting has sparked a national discussion on race relations in America and moved several retailers to ban selling Confederate flag-related merchandise. Several southern states also have looked into removing Confederate icons from state grounds.
Earlier Tuesday, the South Carolina state Senate, missing one of their own in Pinckney, voted 36-3 to approve a bill calling to remove the Confederate flag from state grounds. That bill is expected to go before the state House later today.