DOJ reaches settlements with victims’ families in 2015 Charleston church shooting

(WASHINGTON) — The Justice Department on Thursday announced it had reached settlements with the families of victims murdered by Dylann Roof in the 2015 Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting.

Families had sued the federal government in 2016 because Roof was able to purchase a gun to carry out the shooting, despite having a prior criminal history.

The civil case has since made its way through the court system, with a federal appeals court ruling that families could sue the government.

The shooting, which took place in June 2015 at the Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, killed nine African American worshippers.

“These settlements will resolve claims by 14 plaintiffs arising out of the shooting. Plaintiffs agreed to settle claims alleging that the FBI was negligent when it failed to prohibit the sale of a gun by a licensed firearms dealer to the shooter, a self-proclaimed white supremacist, who wanted to start a “race war” and specifically targeted the 200-year-old historically African-American congregation,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

“For those killed in the shooting, the settlements range from $6 million to $7.5 million per claimant. For the survivors, the settlements are for $5 million per claimant,” the DOJ statement said.

Roof, an avowed white supremacist, was sentenced to death, the first person to get the death penalty for a federal hate crime.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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