CHARLESTON, S.C. (MEDIA GENERAL) – While Charleston, South Carolina, mourns following a church shooting that left nine dead Wednesday, June 17, 2015, the legal process moves on for suspected killer Dylann Roof.
A $1 million bond has been set for the 21-year-old, who’s accused of fatally shooting nine people at a black church in Charleston.
A magistrate judge set the bond for a weapons charge, but doesn’t have the authority to set bond on the nine murder counts that Roof faces. A circuit judge will decide that at a later date.
Roof appeared by video, staring straight ahead as five victims’ family members gave statements, some of them saying “hate won’t win.” Roof displayed no reaction as they told him they would have mercy on him and that they forgave him.
The judge set the bond with the understanding that Roof will be held until his bond hearing on the murder charges.
Authorities say Roof opened fire at a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday night. He was at the prayer meeting for about an hour before he started firing.
Roof, who was on the lam for approximately 14 hours after the killings at Emanuel AME Church, was apprehended late Thursday morning in Shelby, North Carolina, and was extradited back to Charleston late Thursday. View a gallery of images here
It has yet to be established whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Roof, which is legal in South Carolina.
If Roof is sentenced with the death penalty, one family member has stepped forward to “press the button.”
Carson Cowles, Roof’s uncle, told ABC News he is disgusted with his nephew’s actions.
“I’ll be the one to push the button. If he’s found guilty, I’ll be the one to push the button myself,” Cowles said. “If what I am hearing is true, he needs to pay for it.”
Maj. Eric Watson, spokesperson for the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, said Roof currently is in custody at the Al Cannon Detention Center in North Charleston. Due to the high-profile nature of the crime, Roof will not have contact with the general jail population. Also, due to the nature of the crime and past comments made to other people, Roof has been placed on suicide watch.