Washington: A gunman who killed nine black churchgoers in 2015 has been sentenced to death by a federal jury, a media report said on Wednesday.
Dylann Roof, 22, was found guilty of 33 counts of crime, including hate crime, the jury concluded after a two-phase trial. It pronounced its verdict on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.
Roof, who had admitted that his actions were driven by racial hate, did not show any sign of remorse during the trial and denied that he had mental health problems.
The execution of death penalties was currently on hold due to concerns over injection drugs, which means it could be years before Roof is put to death.
Nine people were killed on June 17, 2015 at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina in what the authorities described as “a hate crime” by a white gunman, later identified as Roof.
According to the police, Roof stayed at a prayer meeting for almost one hour before opening fire. A law enforcement official was quoted by CNN as saying that witnesses told them that the suspect said he was at the church “to shoot black people.”
Roof was captured by police on the following morning of the shooting.
The case sparked anger in the US and an effort to root out remaining traces of racism in the southern US state. The confederate flag was removed from the statehouse as a result of the shooting.