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Federal Prosecutors Will Seek Death Penalty Against Alleged Church Shooter Dylann Roof


Federal Prosecutors Will Seek Death Penalty Against Alleged Church Shooter Dylann Roof Dylann Roof will face the death penalty in federal trial, authorities said Tuesday. (Handout)

The U.S. Justice Department will seek the death penalty against Dylann Roof, the 22-year-old man accused of killing nine people at a prayer meeting inside a South Carolina church last summer.

“The nature of the crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement released Tuesday.

Read: Dylann roof Charged With Killing 9; Friends Say He Wanted 'Race War'

Roof’s professed hatred of blacks and his lack of remorse influenced the decision, federal authorities said.

He was indicted last summer on 33 federal charges, including hate crimes, using a firearm in the commission of a crime and violating the victims’ constitutional rights to practice their religion.

He sat in the Bible group at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church for an hour before opening fire last June, officials said.

He also faces nine murder charges and three attempted murder charges in state court, where prosecutors have said they will also pursue the death penalty. That trial is scheduled to begin in January.

Read: Dylann Roof's Stepmom: He Fell Prey to 'Internet Evil'

The federal trial date has not been selected.

A website registered by Roof was discovered after the shootings, authorities said, and contained a “manifesto” of racist and white supremacist views. Roof allegedly wrote he felt compelled to open fire in the AME church because of its history in the black community.

Watch: Is Dylann Roof Obsessed With 'Heil Hitler' Number '88'?