June 19, 2015 / 6:54 PM / 2 years ago

Charleston shooting investigated as 'Act of domestic terrorism': DOJ

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The murders of nine churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, is being investigated by the Justice Department as a possible case of domestic terrorism, a U.S Justice Department spokeswoman said on Friday.

“The department is looking at this crime from all angles, including as a hate crime and as an act of domestic terrorism,” Department of Justice spokeswoman Emily Pierce said in a statement.

The Department of Justice had not previously disclosed that domestic terrorism was one of the avenues being pursued in the federal investigation.

She added that the department’s investigation is ongoing.

At a news conference on Thursday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch told reporters all motivations would be considered in determining how best to prosecute the case.

Suspected shooter Dylann Roof has been charged with nine counts of murder for the mass shooting at a historic black South Carolina church on Wednesday.

Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Sandra Maler

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