South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley today urged prosecutors to seek the death penalty for the suspected gunman whose massacre inside the South's oldest African American church appeared to be driven by runaway racial hatred, reports the Washington Post. “We will absolutely will want him to have the death penalty,” Haley told NBC's “Today” hours before the alleged assailant, 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof, was scheduled for a bond hearing in Charleston.
Charleston police charged Roof with nine counts of murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. The emerging profile of Roof suggested a downward trajectory of racial suspicions, misguided rage and unsettling plots that he expressed to others who apparently never warned authorities. A one-time acquaintance of Roof recalled that the suspect would rant that “blacks were taking over the world” as the pair got drunk on vodka. Roof railed that “someone needed to do something about it for the white race,” said the former friend, Joey Meeks, the Associated Press reported.