CRIME

FBI Arrests Charleston Church Shooter's Friend, Joseph Meek

Meek was under investigation for making false statements and concealing knowledge about a crime.

The friend of alleged Charleston, South Carolina, church shooter Dylann Roof was arrested by the FBI Thursday afternoon.

Joseph "Joey" Meek's girlfriend told The State that the suspect, who housed Roof in the weeks before nine people were gunned down at a historic black church, was picked up by field agents in Red Bank, where he lives.

The FBI didn't immediately confirm the arrest or whether Meeks has been charged. The State reports that he was informed on Aug. 6 that he was a potential suspect for allegedly making false statements in the aftermath of the shootings and for misprision, both felonies.

Misprision is the concealment of knowledge about a crime from authorities and carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

 

 

Meek told the AP that Roof occasionally stayed with him at a mobile home in Red Bank, about 20 miles from Columbia, before the shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17. Meek said that he and Roof were school friends but went their separate ways. Then, just weeks before the shooting, Roof started coming around again.

Meek also described how Roof, while drunk on vodka, complained that "blacks were taking over the world" and that "someone needed to do something about it for the white race" before he passed out in the yard. Meek said he took away Roof's gun the night of his rant but gave it back when he sobered up.

Meek also told the AP that he called authorities after recognizing Roof from surveillance footage from the church. He also said Roof said he used birthday money from his parents to buy a .45-caliber Glock semi-automatic handgun.

Meek is currently on probation, having pleaded guilty earlier this year to possessing a stolen vehicle, according to Lexington County court records.

Roof faces state and federal murder charges for the shooting. He was indicted on federal hate crime charges in July.

The Washington Post published a feature on the Meek family and the home where Roof stayed in the weeks before the shooting, painting the home as a refuge for stragglers and those in need.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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