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$2.5 million to go to church, families of Charleston shooting victims

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. announced Thursday that the city is distributing $2.5 million that poured into a memorial fund started after the fatal shootings of nine parishioners at Emanuel AME church.

The money was donated by people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and four foreign nations, the mayor said. About 6,500 people donated in amounts ranging from 50 cents to $100,000, officials said.

The fund was established after the June 17 shootings during a Bible study at the historic Charleston church.

Dylann Roof has been charged and faces numerous counts in both state and federal court. The state is seeking the death penalty.

After the shootings, officials said the money would be used to pay for funeral expenses, with any excess going to the church. Riley said that later it was agreed that the money would be used for funerals and the rest distributed to victims' families and survivors.

The mayor said about $2.8 million has been donated to the fund. He said $300,000 went initially to pay for funerals and to the church to pay for the needs of the victims in the days immediately following the shootings.

Also, Thursday a man charged with lying to law enforcement agents and failing to report what he knew about Roof's scheme filed papers saying he wants to see all evidence the federal government has against him.

Attorneys for Joey Meek, 21, said in the routine motion that they want a judge to order federal prosecutors to let them inspect and make copies of documents, blood or fingerprint samples and other evidence.

In a motion of their own, prosecutors on Thursday also requested any evidence, witness statements or testing Meek's defense team plans to introduce at trial.

Meek pleaded not guilty last week.

Meek hung out with Roof sporadically in the weeks before the June 17 shooting. A day after the shooting, Meek told The Associated Press Roof had drunkenly complained to him that "blacks were taking over the world" and "someone needed to do something about it for the white race."