DOJ reaches $88M settlement with survivors, families of 9 killed in mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church

The U.S. Justice Department said it will settle the lawsuits arising out of the June 2015 mass shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, which left nine churchgoers dead, by paying $88 million to the families of those killed as well as to the survivors.

These settlements will resolve claims by 14 plaintiffs who alleged 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 DOJ said in a statement this week.

The DOJ will give between $6 million and $7.5 million to each family of the nine victims, and $5 million each to the five people wounded in the shooting, according to the statement.

In June 2015, Dylann Roof opened fire on those gathered at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Charleston during a Wednesday night Bible study, killing nine, all African Americans.

Soon after the mass shooting at the church, then-director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, admitted that federal investigators should have prevented the suspect from buying a handgun in April of that year, The Wall Street Journal noted.

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