Black College Set On Fire In Suspected Attack

Early in the morning on Election Day last week, seven fires were started in Mississippi’s capital city. Notable locations in Jackson were affected and, after a search that lasted several hours, authorities arrested the suspect, according to ABC News.

Arson suspect arrested in Mississippi capital city fires – ABC News (go.com)

Two buildings set ablaze were churches, with one burning to the ground. Another fire reportedly began around the perimeter of the baseball field at Jackson State University, a historically black college.

No injuries have been reported. Authorities have arrested Devin McLaurin in connection with the arsons.

No information has been provided yet as to what his motivations were. He is reportedly being charged with felony malicious mischief and being questioned by FBI agents where he may face additional charges.

Firefighters were first called early morning at around 2:45 a.m. working diligently to ease the flames that engulfed the city on a busy day when voters were electing their House representatives.

Six of seven fires were reportedly put out by 6 a.m. “I’ve been here for 30 years. This is a major occurrence,” Patrick Armon, assistant fire chief for the Jackson Fire Department. “This is not something we normally go to. We have about a third of our department on sites.”

The fire affected many, especially members of the impacted churches. EpiphanyLutheran Church, one of the oldest predominantly black churches in the state was up in flames for more than four hours before being extinguished. The 85-year-old building had just completed renovations earlier this March.

Lloyd Caston, 73, said that he was alerted in the middle of the night of the fire by a family member living in the church’s neighborhood. He left his home around 4 a.m. to find the church “fully enflamed.” “I was hurt,” Caston said.

“It destroyed the church and everything in it.” Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba spoke at a city council meeting that Tuesday regarding the fires.

“We don’t yet know who or why, but I want to thank the firefighters because they were able to respond to that and still get back to the stations, so that people could set up for voting precincts,” Lumumba stated.