An alleged arsonist has finally been captured by police forces in the wake of reportedly sparked a series of seven fires this past Tuesday, including two locations which were churches, out in Jackson, Mississippi.
23-year-old Devin Mclaurin was brought into custody Tuesday night seemingly in connection with the string of horrible fires, as reported by officials for the Jackson Police Department, who utilized assistance from the deputies of the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department.
“I’ve been here for 30 years. This is a major occurrence,” explained assistant fire chief for the Jackson Fire Department, Patrick Armon, to local outlet WAPT-TV. “This is not something we normally go to. We have about a third of our department on sites.”
CAUGHT: Hinds County Deputies were able to detain arson suspect, Delvin McLaurin. He is transferred to The Jackson Police Department.
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Calls first came in starting at roughly 2:45 a.m. Central Time on Tuesday about the fires. all of the blazes were able to be put out by 6 a.m. with a notable exception of the one at the historic Epiphany Lutheran Church which blazed for almost four hours. As of writing, there have been no injuries reported from the incidents.
Ervin Ricks, as the communications director for the other church damaged in the fires, Greater Bethlehem, claimed that it seems that someone made their way into the main church building and lit the fire from the inside of the building.
“Actually broke into the church and got in and started the fire that way,” stated Ricks to WAPT-TV.
Another of the fires was lit at the baseball field of Jackson State University. It is still being investigated by the Fire Marshalls for the state due to the area being a state-owned property, as explained by the New York Post.
The report went on to state that the four remaining locations included a house on Pascagoula Street, a gas station on Terry Road, a structure at Central Street and Dalton, and a structure at Terry and Cherry Streets.
Chokwe Antar Lumumba, the Democrat mayor of Jackson spoke out about the fires while attending a city council meeting on Tuesday.
“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,” stated Lumumba, as reported by the Associated Press. These statements from the mayor were issued just prior to the arrest of McLaurin.
“The citizens are outraged that there is a suspected arsonist in our midst,” expressed Vernon Hartley, the councilman for Ward 5 that represents the areas next to where the fires took place, to the Mississippi Clarion Ledger.
“We encourage all communities in the greater Jackson area to acknowledge that an action like this is not an action against one community. It affects us all,” he continued.
None of the area polling locations were reportedly impacted by the fires.