BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With emotions running high after Freddie Gray’s death, some people expressed their frustration by rioting, looting and even setting fires.
Christie Ileto with how the feds are trying to track down the arsonists responsible.
Who are they? The feds want to know, too. We do know they’re suspected arsonists behind fires during the April 27 riot.
“We have these individuals coming into the building, literally taking out matches or lighters and setting the fire and then leaving,” said David Cheplak, ATF special agent.
One photo even shows a person squeezing lighter fluid onto a fire that’s just starting.
Businesses at the following locations were looted before being torched:
- CVS Pharmacy, 2509 Pennsylvania Ave.
- CVS Pharmacy, 2560 W. Franklin St.
- Rite Aid Pharmacy, 300 N. Martin Luther King Blvd.
- Papa Palace Pizza and Subs, 2426 East Monument St.
- Harvin Senior Center Apartments, 1600 N. Chester St.
- Cash USA Pawn, 2109 W. Pratt Street
- Fireside North Liquor Store, 2201 W. North Ave
A three alarm fire also wiped out a senior center under construction.
“I don’t think it was personally done or maliciously done,” said Pastor Dante Hickman, Southern Baptist Church.
Pastor Hickman plans to rebuild.
Ileto: “What do you have to say to the person who did set this fire?”
Hickman: “That we were actually building this facility for you… That the church and this community and our development corporation exist for you.”
The ATF is investigating seven fires intentionally set across the city, saying as many as five IEDs were assembled near Penn and North avenues, using materials from businesses that were looted.
“Those individuals who committed these acts need to be held accountable for their dangerous actions” said Baltimore Field Division Special Agent in Charge William McMullan. “ATF special agents and our local counterparts are continuing to conduct interviews, examine evidence, and review hundreds of hours of video and thousands of photographs as we pursue all investigative leads relating to each incident. In addition to these leads, we are asking for the public’s assistance in the identification of the individuals responsible for these crimes.”
Four of the five devices detonated at one point that night.
“We’ve got their pictures. We know what they look like. And we probably know where they live. We can take care of that. We need to take care of what’s affecting our community now,” said Elder C.W. Harris, New Born Community of Faith.
Some community leaders say tackling surging violence is the priority in neighborhoods…
But it’s these pictures that could lead the feds closer to uncovering who intentionally burned down blocks of Baltimore.
The suspects could face up to 20 years behind bars if convicted.
A $10,000 reward is being offered to anyone with information. Call 1-888-ATF-FIRE (1-888-283-3473).