UPDATE: $1M bond set for suspect - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: $1M bond set for suspect


2:45 p.m.

A judge has set a $1 million bond for a 21-year-old white man accused of fatally shooting nine people at a black church in Charleston.

The magistrate judge set the bond for a weapons charge but doesn't have the authority to set bond on the nine murder counts that Dylann Roof faces. That will be left up to a circuit judge at a later date.

Roof appeared by video and stared straight ahead as five victims' family members gave statements, some of them saying "hate won't win." Roof showed no reaction as they told him they would have mercy on him and that they forgave him.

The judge set the bond with the understanding that Roof will be held until his bond hearing on the murder charges.

Authorities say Roof opened fire at a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday night. He was at the prayer meeting for about an hour before he started shooting.

2:27 p.m.

The man accused of killing nine people inside a black church in Charleston has made his first court appearance, with the relatives of all the victims making tearful statements.

Dylann Roof appeared via video before a judge in South Carolina. He wore a jail jumpsuit and was handcuffed, and spoke only to answer questions. When asked his age, he told the judge he was 21. He also told the judge he was unemployed.

Relatives of the shooting victims also spoke at the hearing, with one victim's daughter sobbing as she said, "I forgive you."

The mother of Tywanza Sanders told Roof that "every fiber in my body hurts."

Roof did not react and appeared to show no emotion as the relatives spoke.

1:42 p.m.

The 21-year-old man accused of killing nine people at a black church in Charleston is being held in a cell next to the former North Charleston police officer who fatally shot a black man running away from him.

Charleston County sheriff's Maj. Eric Watson said Friday that Dylann Roof, who is accused in the church shooting, is in a cell next to former officer Michael Slager.

Slager has been charged with murder in the death of Walter Scott. Slager's shooting of a fleeing Scott following a traffic stop on April 4 was recorded on a bystander's cellphone.

Roof has been charged with nine counts of murder. He is being held in cell 1141B. Slager is in 1140B.

Each is alone is his cell. It's unlikely the two can talk to each other.


1 p.m.

The head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is calling the slaying of nine people inside a black church an act of "racial terrorism" and says the Confederate flag flying on the South Carolina Capitol grounds in Columbia needs to come down.

NAACP President and CEO Rev. Cornell William Brooks made his remarks Friday in Charleston, two days after police say 21-year-old Dylann Roof opened fire on a Bible study at the Emanuel AME church in the city.

Brooks mentioned that Roof had a Confederate flag on his license plate and displayed symbols of racist regimes in South Africa and Rhodesia on a jacket he wore in a Facebook photo.

The NAACP has called for the flag's removal from the Statehouse grounds ever since it was taken down from the top of the Statehouse dome, where the American and state flags are flown. When the flag was moved from the dome to a Confederate soldier monument in front of the building, some called it a compromise, but the NAACP disagreed and wants it removed entirely from the grounds.


12:30 p.m.

The white man accused of fatally shooting nine people during a Bible study at a black church had been arrested on a drug possession charge about four months ago after concerned workers reported he was acting erratically at a shopping mall.

A Columbia Police Department report from Feb. 28 says 21-year-old Dylann Roof was wearing all black in a shoe store and in Bath and Body Works, asking employees strange questions. The report says he asked how many people were working, when they closed and when they left their jobs.

The officer wrote that Roof appeared nervous and said he was being pressured by his parents to get a job, though he didn't ask either place for a job application. When the officer searched him, he found suboxone strips -- typically used to treat addiction to heroin and other opiates


12:15 p.m.

Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. says a fund has been set up to help the families of the nine victims of the shooting at a Charleston church, as well as the church itself.

Riley held a news conference Friday across the street from the church, where crime scene tape is still out front, along with dozens of bouquets of flowers.

Riley says people can contribute to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund at Wells Fargo bank branches, by mail, or -- soon -- online.

The fund will help with funerals, other family expenses, and work at the historic church.

Riley also encouraged people to attend a 6 p.m. Friday vigil and prayer service at the arena where the College of Charleston plays its basketball games.


11:40 a.m.

Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. says that though he's not a proponent of the death penalty, it's the law in South Carolina and he expects it will be sought in the church shooting that killed nine people.

At a Friday news conference, he said: "If you are going to have a death penalty, certainly this case would merit it."

Earlier, Gov. Nikki Haley told NBC's "Today" show: "We will absolutely will want him to have the death penalty."

Twenty-one-year-old Dylan Roof is charged with nine counts of murder. He is scheduled for a bond hearing Friday afternoon but is likely to appear via video link from jail instead of in person in court.


10:55 a.m.

A steady stream of people is visiting the memorial in front of the black church where authorities say a young white man slaughtered nine people during a Bible study.

Police tape still cordoned off the area Friday, and FBI agents were investigating in the back parking lot of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Eight vehicles have remained in the lot for some time.

A pile of flowers in front of the church is growing. Media trucks and reporters are set up along the road, and traffic slows as cars pass by the memorial. People on foot stop to take pictures with cellphones.

Authorities say 21-year-old Dylann Roof fatally shot nine people in the Charleston church on Wednesday night. Roof is charged with nine counts of murder.


9:56 a.m.

Police in Charleston say the suspect in a fatal church shooting at a historic black church is charged with nine counts of murder and a weapon charge.

Police spokesman Charles Francis said Friday that 21-one-year-old Dylann Roof is charged with the 10 total counts in the Wednesday night fatal church shooting.

The weapon charge against Roof is possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. Under South Carolina law, it's illegal to use a weapon such as a knife or gun to commit a violent crime whether or not the weapons is legally owned.

A bond hearing for Roof is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday.


9:50 a.m.

The man accused in the shooting deaths of nine people at a historic black church in Charleston is scheduled to make his first South Carolina court appearance.

Charleston County officials say 21-year-old Dylann Roof was set to appear at a bond hearing at 2 p.m. Friday. Roof is unlikely to appear in court, as most initial hearings are conducted over a video link with the county jail.

Nine people were killed Wednesday night by a gunman at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston. Officials are investigating the shooting as a hate crime. Police say Roof spent nearly an hour at the church in a prayer meeting before shooting the victims.


7:15 a.m.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says the gunman who killed nine people during a shooting spree at a Charleston church should get the death penalty.

Speaking Friday morning on NBC's "Today" show, Haley said "we will absolutely will want him to have the death penalty."

Twenty-one-year-old Dylann Storm Roof was arrested Thursday in North Carolina, a day after nine people were killed during a Bible study at a historic black church in downtown Charleston.

Those killed included the minister at The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The shooting is being considered a hate crime.

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