Dylann Roof Charged With Murder in Charleston Church Shooting
On Friday a judge in Charleston, South Carolina, announced Dylann Roof, who is accused of killing nine people at a historically black Charleston church late Wednesday night, would be charged with nine counts of murder and one count of possession a weapon during the commission violent crime.
Though the judge did not have authority to set bond for the murder charges, he set Roof's bond for the weapons possession charge at $1 million.
The announcement came at a bond hearing for the accused which began shortly before 2:30 p.m. Eastern. Roof stood expressionless via teleconference as the charges were read against him. The judge ordered Roof to appear in court on Oct. 23, for his first hearing and then a subsequent hearing on Feb. 5, 2016. The judge also reminded the court and those watching around the country to remember all the affected including the "victims on [Roof's] side of the family."
After the charges were announced, family members of the victims were given an opportunity to read statements before the court.
"I'll never be able to hold her again," said one bereaved family member, adding, "I forgive you."
Roof was apprehended by authorities in North Carolina after a nearly 15-hour manhunt by police. The shooting, which Roof reportedly confessed to, is widely believed to have been racially motivated. A photograph of Roof taken from his Facebook page that has since been removed showed the 21-year-old scowling with a jacket adorned with badges of the flags of the historical racist governments of apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe.)
Throughout Thursday and Friday, Americans across the country came together to honor the nine victims of the massacre in vigils.