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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 19, 2015

US Attorney Wagner’s Remarks on the Shooting Incident in Charleston, South Carolina

SACRAMENTO, Calif. Yesterday, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner sent the following remarks to various community members:

This afternoon I participated in a national conference call with other U.S. Attorneys about yesterday’s horrific shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. The call was led by Vanita Gupta, the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, and Bill Nettles, the U.S. Attorney in South Carolina.

As you know, a suspect is in custody. The U.S. Department of Justice has opened a federal hate crime investigation into the shooting, in addition to the murder investigation being pursued by local authorities. The FBI and ATF are working closely with local law enforcement agencies in both investigations.

There should be no doubt that this shooting was an act of domestic terrorism. Protecting Americans from the threat of terrorism of all types is the top priority of the U.S. Department of Justice. We and our federal law enforcement partners are committed to doing all we can to prevent, respond to, and prosecute such crimes.

The Attorney General [Loretta Lynch] has stated, and I agree, that there is no place for acts like these in our country or in civilized society.

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Office and Personnel Updates
Updated June 19, 2015