Dylann Roof, charged in the shooting death of nine black parishioners at a Charleston church, was assaulted Thursday by another inmate at a South Carolina jail, police said.
In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Sheriff Al Cannon said Roof was let out at 7:45 a.m. to take a shower, and officers had checked cells in the area to check that they were locked.
Inmate Dwayne Stafford ran down the stairs and attacked Roof, 22, he said. Roof suffered bruises to his face and back after Stafford reportedly struck him with his fist.
“Roof and his attorney have indicated they have no desire to press charges,” said Cannon.
"We are looking at the issue of the door lock and what may have failed there," he said. He said they’re also interviewing jail employees.
Roof is escorted by detention officers when he leaves his cell, but on that particular day, authorities say an officer was dropping off toilet paper when the assault happened. Another officer was on break. Cannon said this was not regular procedure.
"This serves as a wake-up call," he said.
The inmate who attacked him is in jail for strong armed robbery and assault, and for lying to police, he said.
Roof was examined by medical personnel and then taken back to his cell. The inmate who attacked him is facing additional assault charges, according to the Associated Press.
Roof has been jailed since being brought back from North Carolina a day after the June 17, 2015 shootings at Emanuel AME Church. He is currently awaiting trial.