NBC News reports that the assault occurred this morning at the South Carolina jail where Roof is currently being held. Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon addressed the matter during a news conference earlier today. Cannon says that Roof was showering and attacked by an inmate that left their cell. According to the sheriff, Dwayne Stafford struck Roof in the face and body. Officers broke up the fight and Roof suffered bruises from the attack, but was not seriously injured. Cannon noted that Roof and his attorney have no plans on pressing charges in relation to the incident.
The attack was reported to be an “unprovoked” incident, although it’s not hard to imagine why Roof would be targeted. The 22-year-old stands accused of perpetrating mass murder in a church with the belief that the shooting was a hate crime directed at African-Americans. At present, Roof’s legal team is pushing against the death penalty for their client, a punishment that the accused is facing both at the federal and state levels.