Official: Church shooting suspect to face hate crime charge

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(Credit BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — An official says the man accused of slaying nine black church members in Charleston will soon face a federal charge.

An official close to the case tells The Associated Press that a grand jury will indict 21-year-old Dylann Roof on Wednesday on a federal hate crime charge. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the indictment hadn’t been publicly announced yet.

The move has been expected since Roof’s arrest after the June 17 shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Federal officials have previously said the shootings meet the legal requirements for a hate crime and that federal charges were likely. Roof, who is white, appeared in photos waving Confederate flags and purportedly wrote of racial violence.

More on the Charleston Church Shooting here.

Roof faces state charges including nine murder counts. Prosecutors haven’t said whether they’ll seek the death penalty.