Settlement Related to Charleston Church Shooting Reached

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Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

Jeff Gentner/Getty Images

The Department of Justice announced on Thursday that it has reached an $88 million settlement for survivors and the families of those killed in the 2015 shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

The settlements resolve claims by 14 plaintiffs in civil cases that arose out of the shooting, where a white supremacist killed nine worshipers at a Bible study.

The settlements for the families of those killed in the shooting range from $6 million to $7.5 million per claimant, while the settlements for survivors are $5 million per claimant, according to the DOJ.

“The mass shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church was a horrific hate crime that caused immeasurable suffering for the families of the victims and the survivors,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland in a statement. “Since the day of the shooting, the Justice Department has sought to bring justice to the community, first by a successful hate crime prosecution and today by settling civil claims.”

According to the DOJ:

The families of the Emanuel Nine, as well as the five survivors who were inside the church at the time of the shooting, sued the government. They sought to recover for wrongful death and physical injuries arising from the shooting. Plaintiffs asserted that the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (NICS) failed to timely discover that the shooter was a person prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm. Plaintiffs alleged that because of this delay, the shooter was able to purchase the handgun that he used to commit the atrocity.

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