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Charleston Shooter Dylann Roof Was Assaulted in Jail Today

The 22-year-old who faces death-penalty charges over the June 2015 massacre at a black church sustained minor injuries in the shower attack.

by Allie Conti
Aug 5 2016, 12:00am

Dylann Roof in June 2015. (AP Photo/Ben Earp, File)

Dylann Roof, the man who gunned downnine worshippers in a historic black South Carolina church in June 2015, wasassaultedin jail on Thursday. The 22-year-old, who was supposed to be in protective custody, was hit by another inmate while preparing to shower at around 7:45 AM,accordingto Charleston County sheriff Al Cannon.

Dwayne Stafford, a black inmate, managed to bruise Roof's face and back before the two were separated. Typically, guards at the Charleston County Detention Center make sure that all cells are locked before Roof is moved to and from the shower given his notoriety. That didn't happen on Thursday, however, possibly because one officer was on break and another was busy fetching toilet paper, Cannon said.

Roof and his attorney are not pressing charges, but an internal affairs investigation will look into why Stafford wasn't properly contained, NBC News reports.

At Roof's first appearance before a judge shortly after the shooting, family members of the victims heartbreakingly pleaded for mercy on his behalf. Since then, federal prosecutors have nonetheless sought the death penalty––a move Roof's lawyers are challenging on constitutional grounds.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Cannon said that Thursday's attack took place because guards had become lazy about protecting Roof, and that it can't happen again.

"This serves as a wake-up call," he said at a press conference. "Up and down the chain, we have to ensure that our folks do not fall prey to the routine."

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