Dylann Roof, the alleged gunman authorities say is responsible for killing nine people in a Charleston, South Carolina, church last year, was physically assaulted in jail by another inmate, a jail spokesperson said.
At about 7:45 a.m. this morning, Roof, who is white, was near the showers when another inmate, Dwayne Stafford, who is black, left his cell and ran down a set of stairs and toward Roof, assaulting him with his hands, officials said.
Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said Stafford, 25, punched Roof, 22, “a number of times and assaulted him quickly.”
Roof was hit in the face and body, and suffered bruising to his face and back, the incident report states. Detention officers intervened.
The incident report calls the assault “unprovoked,” and Roof and Stafford were “checked by medical at the jail and cleared,” the report states.
Roof’s injuries were “relatively minor,” Cannon said, and he was not hospitalized, a jail spokesperson said.
Stafford is serving time for strong arm robbery and assaulting a cop, Cannon said. An arrest warrant for Stafford is expected. Cannon said Roof and his attorney have no desire to press charges against Stafford.
The investigation is ongoing and Cannon did not say what sparked the incident. Cannon said Stafford should not have been able to get out of his cell, and how that happened is part of the investigation. Cannon added the assault did not seem “coordinated.”
Roof, who is accused of murder and hate crimes, faces a federal trial set for November and a state trial set to begin early next year. He could face the death penalty in both cases.
His state and federal attorneys have said he is willing to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.