Justice Dept. to seek death penalty for Charleston shooter Dylann Roof
A WBTV News image shows shooting suspect Dylann Roof being escorted by police at the Shelby-Cleveland County Regional Airport for extradition back to Charleston, South Carolina on June 18, 2015 (AFP Photo/)

The Justice Department announced on Tuesday that it would seek the death penalty for Dylann Roof in connection with the mass shooting inside a Charleston, South Carolina church last June, Buzzfeed reported.


"The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement.

Roof faces 33 federal charges related to hate crimes and firearm-related offenses. He is accused of killing nine black parishoners at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The department's announcement came just over a month after a US district judge granted prosecutors' request to delay his trial while they decided whether to pursue the death penalty.

Roof already faces the death penalty in his state trial in South Carolina, which is slated to begin in January.

This story will be updated.