Dylann Roof Assaulted In Jail: Alleged Charleston Church Shooter Roughed Up By Another Inmate

Dylann Roof, the man who allegedly shot and killed nine people in a Charleston, South Carolina church last summer, has been assaulted in jail the Charlotte Observer is reporting.

Authorities at the Charleston County Jail say that Roof was showering at about 7:45 a.m. Thursday when another inmate, identified as 26-year-old Dwayne Stafford, attacked him. Jailers say that Stafford ran from his cell and down a flight of stairs to get to Roof.

Stafford, who is in jail on charges of robbery and other crimes unrelated to Roof’s case, allegedly only used his hands and fists during the assault, and he is not believed to have used any weapons. Corrections officers pulled the two men apart and returned Staford to his cell. Roof, who suffered bruises in the assault, was examined by medical staff and sent back to his cell.

During a press conference Thursday afternoon, according to KMOV (St. Louis), Sheriff Al Cannon addressed two issues that may have played a role in how another inmate was able to get so close to Roof. The first issue was a mechanical one as the lock on a door apparently failed, allowing Stafford enough time to get to where Roof was showering.

“We are looking at the issue of the door lock and what may have failed there.”

The second issue is one for the personnel department as it seems that although Roof is supposed to be accompanied by a guard at all times when he’s not in his cell, the guard who was with him at the time of the assault was distracted for a moment. Unfortunately for Roof, that was long enough for Stafford to allegedly pounce.

“This serves as a wake-up call. Up and down the chain, we have to ensure that our folks do not fall prey to the routine.”

Dylann Roof has been jailed in South Carolina since last July when he was extradited from North Carolina. He had been picked up there while allegedly trying to flee to Nashville, Tennessee. He faces nine counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder for a shooting spree at a historic Charleston, South Carolina church.

On June 17, 2015, Roof attended a prayer service at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The church was one of the first black congregations in the city, and one that had been subjected to harassment from whites before, during, and after the Civil War. Following the prayer service, Roof allegedly went on a shooting rampage, killing nine people and injuring three others. One of the dead was the church’s pastor, Clementa Pinckney. Roof fled South Carolina following the shooting, and he was arrested the following morning in North Carolina.

Investigators quickly determined that the shooting spree was a hate crime and declared that Roof had committed the act as an attempt to start a race war.

Roof, a high school dropout who had previous run-ins with the law, maintained a racist website and had posted photographs of himself with racist regalia. According to a manifesto posted on his website, he said that he was motivated to commit murder by the Trayvon Martin shooting, as well as black-on-white crime.

Roof is scheduled to stand trial for murder and federal hate crime charges beginning January 17, 2017. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Through his attorneys, Roof said that he would not be pressing charges against Stafford for the alleged assault.

[Photo by Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Images]