By Melissa Chan
May 24, 2016

The U.S. Justice Department will seek the death penalty in the case of alleged Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, who is accused of shooting dead nine people in a historic black church in South Carolina last year.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement Tuesday that the “nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm” compelled the decision after the Justice Department’s “rigorous review process.”

Roof, a South Carolina native, allegedly opened fire on a Bible study group at the Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015. He had been indicted on dozens of federal charges, including hate crime charges.

Some of the 33 charges carry the possibility of the death penalty, and Lynch last July said her department would decide later whether to pursue the punishment.

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