FBI: Charleston church shooting suspect shouldn't have been able to get gun

Published: Jul. 10, 2015 at 5:41 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2015 at 5:41 PM EDT
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Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - FBI Director James Comey says the gunman charged in the Charleston church massacre should not have been allowed to purchase the gun used in the attack.

Comey on Friday attributed the problem to incomplete and inaccurate paperwork related to an arrest of Dylann Roof weeks before the shooting.

He says an FBI examiner who looked into Roof's background when he tried to purchase a gun never saw an arrest report in which police say he admitted to possessing drugs. The arresting agency was listed erroneously on the rap sheet that the examiner reviewed.

Under FBI rules, that admission should have disqualified Roof from being able to buy a gun.

The transaction went through after three days because the examiner didn't have enough information to authorize or deny it.

Roof was arrested in February on drug and trespassing charges after Columbia Police received complaints that he was acting suspiciously at Columbiana Mall. According to the police report, the officer found prescription drugs Roof did not have a prescription for in his pocket.

The gun was purchased at Shooter's Choice in West Columbia.

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