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Alleged Charleston Church Shooter Assaulted by Black Inmate in South Carolina Jail

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In this handout photo provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office Detention Center, Dylann Storm Roof is seen in his booking photo after he was apprehended as the main suspect in the mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church that killed nine people on June 18, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. The 21-year-old gunman is suspected of killing nine people during a prayer meeting in the church, which is one of the nation's oldest black churches in Charleston. (Photo by Charleston County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (TheBlaze/AP) -- Dylann Roof, the white man charged in the massacre of nine black parishioners at a Charleston church, was assaulted Thursday by a black inmate at the South Carolina jail where he is being held, a law official said.

Dwayne Stafford (Image source: WTAT-TV)

Dwayne Stafford ran down the stairs from his cell after Roof was let out of solitary confinement to shower around 7:45 a.m. Thursday. That's when Stafford allegedly hit Roof, bruising his face and back, according to the Charleston Post and Courier.

One officer was taking a break at the time, while another had been called to deliver toilet paper. The officer delivering the bathroom tissue witnessed the incident and separated the two inmates, WTAT-TV reported.

The 22-year-old Roof was examined by jail medical personnel and then returned to his cell, Charleston County Sheriff's Maj. Eric Watson told The Associated Press.

Watson said Stafford would be charged with assault, but during a news conference on Thursday, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said there would not be charges.

According to WTAT-TV, Roof was in the "defending position." The alleged AME church shooter did not fight back.

The 26-year-old Stafford is awaiting trial on first-degree assault and strong armed robbery charges.

Roof has been housed at the Charleston County Detention Center since being brought back from North Carolina a day after the June 17, 2015, slayings of nine parishioners during a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church. Prosecutors have said Roof was trying to make his way to Nashville, Tennessee, after the shootings.

Roof faces the death penalty in upcoming trials in both federal and state courts.

The federal government has charged Roof with hate crimes and other offenses in the shootings. Prosecutors allege Roof talked of starting a race war and posed with the Confederate battle flag before the killings. His federal trial is set for November.

Image source: lastrhodesian.com

He also faces the death penalty in state court where he is charged with nine counts of murder in a trial set to begin next year.

Defense attorneys have said in both state and federal courts that Roof is willing to plead guilty and serve a life term in prison if prosecutors don't seek the death penalty.

Roof's attorneys in the federal case have asked a judge to declare the federal death penalty unconstitutional which they said would clear the way for Roof to plead guilty.

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