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Latest developments in Charleston shooting

FILE- In this April 7, 2015 file photo provided by the Charleston County, S.C., Sheriff's Office shows Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager. A grand jury affirmed the state of South Carolina's murder charge on Monday, June 8, 2015, against Slager who fatally shot an unarmed back man trying to run from a traffic stop on April 4, 2015.
FILE- In this April 7, 2015 file photo provided by the Charleston County, S.C., Sheriff's Office shows Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager. A grand jury affirmed the state of South Carolina's murder charge on Monday, June 8, 2015, against Slager who fatally shot an unarmed back man trying to run from a traffic stop on April 4, 2015. AP

The 21-year-old man accused of killing nine people at a black church in Charleston is being held in a cell next to the former North Charleston police officer who fatally shot a black man running away from him.

Charleston County sheriff’s Maj. Eric Watson said Friday that Dylann Roof, who is accused in the church shooting, is in a cell next to former officer Michael Slager.

Slager has been charged with murder in the death of Walter Scott. Slager’s shooting of a fleeing Scott following a traffic stop on April 4 was recorded on a bystander’s cellphone.

Roof has been charged with nine counts of murder. He is being held in cell 1141B. Slager is in 1140B.

It’s unlikely the two can talk to each other.

Massachusetts governor sorry for Confederate flag comments

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has apologized for saying S.C. residents “can make their own call” about flying the Confederate flag outside the state capitol.

Baker made the comments Thursday during his monthly radio show after a question about the flag following the shooting deaths of nine members of a historic black church in Charleston and the arrest of a white man.

Critics see the flag as a symbol of racial prejudice and the nation’s history of slavery.

Baker initially framed the issue as a matter of local government control.

“I like local government,” he said. “The farther government gets away from the people the more nervous I get about the way it behaves, and my view on stuff like this is that South Carolinians can make their own call.”

During a second radio interview later Thursday, Baker said “that flag should be gone.”

“I certainly apologize. I did hear from friends of mine who said, ‘Jesus, Charlie, you know, what were you thinking?’ ”

NRA board member blames victim for Charleston shooting

A Houston attorney on the National Rifle Association’s board of directors is blaming the deadly Charleston church shooting on one of the victims, saying the slain pastor had opposed concealed-carry legislation as a state senator that could have saved him and his fellow worshipers.

In an interview Friday with The Associated Press, Charles Cotton confirmed writing that “innocent people died because of (Clementa Pinckney’s) position on a political issue.” The post appeared Thursday in an online discussion board about concealed handguns.

In their own words

Reaction to the Charleston church massacre continues to pour in. “I pray for a community that I know is in pain with the hope that tragedies like these will one day come to an end,” said first lady Michelle Obama.

Memorial service for victims

A memorial service will be held at noon Monday in the campus room at Capstone at the University of South Carolina, according to USC spokesman Wes Hickman.

Richland County lowers flags, too

Following the state and city of Columbia, Richland County said Friday it will fly all county flags at half-staff for nine days starting Monday, one day for each victim of the Charleston mass slaying.

Justice Department to expedite $29 million grant

The U.S. Justice Department said Friday that it will expedite a $29 million formula victim’s assistant grant to South Carolina. Some of the money can be used to help victims of the tragedy at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

You can help ....

The city of Charleston has started the the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund to provide financial support for the funeral and burial expenses of the victims. Any money remaining after those expenses are paid will be donated to the church. Donations can be made by: sending a check to Mother Emanuel Hope Fund, c/o City of Charleston, Post Office Box 304, Charleston, SC 29402; or making a donation at any Wells Fargo bank.

The City of Charleston and the Palmetto Project, a 30-year-old statewide nonprofit organization, also have started the Lowcountry Ministries-Pinckney Fund, named for state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the Emanuel minister who was among those slain.

As a minister, Pinckney worked with nonprofit organizations, including the Palmetto Project, on social and economic issues. The Pinckney Fund will support initiatives among youth and vulnerable populations in areas where Pinckney was a pastor.

To make a donation, mail a check to Lowcountry Ministries-Pinckney Fund, c/o The Palmetto Project, 6296 Rivers Ave. #100, North Charleston, SC 29406, or go online to palmettoproject.org.

From Staff and Wire Reports

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