Three more Minnesotans are facing federal arson charges in connection to the late May riots in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Both Matthew Scott White, 31, and Mohamed Hussein Abdi, 19, were arrested on June 29 and charged with one count of arson.
According to a statement from U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald, Abdi was captured on surveillance cameras while intentionally starting a fire in the cafeteria of Gordon Parks High School in St. Paul on the night of May 28.
The footage shows Abdi reaching through a broken glass door and pouring a clear liquid from a white container onto the floor of the cafeteria. Abdi then entered the cafeteria and poured more clear liquid onto the floor and into a trashcan. He ignited a fire in the trashcan using a liquid-soaked garment. The footage shows Abdi running from the building as flames and black smoke erupt from the trashcan.
Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were able to identify White on surveillance footage from an Enterprise Rent-A-Car in St. Paul, which was completely destroyed by fire on May 28.
While inside, the footage shows White carrying a box and a trashcan into the back area of the business, out of view of the camera. Shortly after, fire can be seen flickering in the reflection of the window in the front of the store, according to MacDonald’s office.
White’s sister, Jessica Lynn White, was charged Friday with conspiracy to commit arson for her involvement in the incident.
U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr said last week that the Department of Justice is conducting roughly 500 investigations into acts of arson and vandalism across the country.
“We’ve had scores of indictments so far for such things as arson, destruction of federal property,” said Barr, claiming “state and local are not doing their jobs.”
“We have right now about 500 investigations underway, so it’s picking up pace,” he added. “We are committed to holding accountable the people who engaged in this.”
At least 10 Minnesotans are now facing various charges in connection to the riots, including a St. Paul man who was charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting at police officers during the unrest.
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