CHARLESTON, S.C., Sept. 16 (UPI) — An acquaintance of accused Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof is himself the focus of a federal investigation for supposedly lying to investigators and withholding information, news media reported Wednesday.
Joseph Meek, 21, is an acquaintance of Roof’s and police believe he may have known about the shooting at the Mother Emanuel AME church in Charleston before it was committed in June.
A “target letter” from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Columbia, S.C., was reportedly sent to Meek last month — informing him of the investigation.
Several of Meek’s acquaintances — including his 19-year-old girlfriend — have already testified before a grand jury, the Charlotte Observer reported.
Withholding information from authorities and lying to investigators are both felony offenses.
“I’m still reaping what he (Roof) sowed,” Meek told a reporter from The State newspaper Tuesday. “I’m looked at like a criminal because of his actions.”
Meek told The State his letter was hand-delivered by an FBI agent and that he was severely shaken up to receive word he was under federal investigation.
“I kind of broke down on the front porch in front of him,” he said.
Nine people were killed at the historic black church, including a South Carolina state representative. Investigators believe Roof planned the attack to instigate a race war between white and black people in the United States.
Roof has pleaded not guilty to the charges.