Reuters International

Dylann Roof (R), the 21-year-old man charged with murdering nine worshippers at a historic black church in Charleston last month, listens to the proceedings with assistant defense attorney William Maguire during a hearing at the Judicial Center in Charleston, South Carolina July 16, 2015. REUTERS/Randall Hill/Files


By Harriet McLeod

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - The gunman accused of killing nine black parishioners at a Charleston, South Carolina, church last year was attacked in jail by another inmate early Thursday but not badly injured, a local sheriff's spokesman said.

Dylann Roof, 22, was outside of his cell at the North Charleston jail where he is detained when the assault occurred, Charleston County Sheriff's Major Eric Watson said in a phone interview. A detention officer broke up the fight, Watson said.

Roof was examined by in-house medical staff after the brief physical altercation at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center

and had no immediately apparent injuries, Watson said.

The other inmate, who was not named, will face assault charges, the major said, adding no weapons were involved in the fight.

Roof "did not provoke what happened," Watson said.

A news conference about the incident was planned for 1:30 p.m. ET.

Roof is facing the death penalty in both federal and state court, where prosecutors charged him with dozens of offenses including murder. The deadly attack occurred during a Bible study session at Charleston's historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015.

Court records filed by prosecutors in federal court last month said Roof used eight Glock handgun magazines and fired about 80 rounds during the massacre. The records alleged that Roof plotted the attack for months, calling the church from his home and paying a web hosting company where he posted a manifesto online as early as February 2015.

(Reporting by Harriet McLeod; Writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by David Gregorio)


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