The FBI arrested a 21-year-old friend of confessed Charleston, S.C., church shooter Dylann Roof on Thursday on charges that he lied to investigators and concealed information at the beginning of the probe, according to Yahoo! News.
Joseph Meek, 21, with whose family Roof lived for a short time before the shootings took place June 17 at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, was taken into FBI custody Thursday at his home in the town of Red Bank, the report says. He was recently informed by the U.S. attorney’s office that he was under investigation on suspicion of making false statements to law enforcement and hiding information, the report says.
NPR reports that Meek appeared in court Friday and pleaded not guilty to the charges. The charging documents assert that Meek “lied to a federal agent when he said he ‘did not know specifics of Dylann Roof’s plan to shoot individuals on a Wednesday, during Bible Study, at an AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina,’ although the indictment does not say how investigators determined Meek was lying,” NPR writes. Bail was set at $100,000, NPR reports.
After the shooting, Meek told reporters that Roof had drunkenly vowed one night “to do something crazy,” CNN reports. While saying he did not take Roof’s declaration seriously at the time, Meek said he hid Roof’s gun that night but returned it the next day, CNN says.
Meek told CNN that after hearing the description of the suspect in the Charleston church attack, he called the FBI the next morning and gave authorities a description of what Roof was wearing and the license plate number of Roof’s car.
Roof, 21, faces state and federal charges in the rampage that left nine people dead, including the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who also was a South Carolina state senator.