Shador Tommie Cortez Jackson, a 24-year-old man from Richfield, Minnesota, was arrested last week and federally charged with arson, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota announced.
Jackson allegedly set fire to the Target headquarters in downtown Minneapolis during a riot that occurred on Aug. 26 in response to a rumor that Minneapolis police had killed a black person earlier that day. Amid the chaos, Jackson set a fire inside the Target company headquarters, according to a report compiled by an investigator for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
Jackson was then stopped a short time later when police pulled him over for a noise violation. This led to the discovery of apparently stolen goods inside his vehicle, which helped an ATF investigator build a case against him that led to his recent arrest.
The investigator used a series of security camera images to conclude that Jackson appears to have set fire to the Target building while in possession of stolen merchandise.
The images show a man who appears to be Jackson using a sidewalk closure sign to gain entry to the Target headquarters through a window.
He then allegedly set a desktop in the mailroom ablaze, apparently with the help of a flammable liquid.
A third image allegedly shows Jackson exiting the building the same way he came in.
The ATF investigator was then able to use security cameras positioned along 11th Street South to identify Jackson’s vehicle, a Ford Explorer with the license plate ERG561, as he made his escape.
Jackson’s escape was short lived, however. About an hour later, Richfield police stopped Jackson’s SUV because his stereo volume was illegally loud. This stop was facilitated with no knowledge of his prior activity.
The officer who pulled Jackson over “saw, in plain view from his position outside the vehicle, multiple, open, alcohol bottles in the Explorer,” per the ATF investigator’s report.
The officer then discovered that Jackson’s vehicle also contained what appeared to be marijuana, a money counting machine, liquor bottles, clothing, purses and belts, which had the security devices cut off but the tags still on.
This incident triggered further scrutiny into Jackson’s activity during the riots, ultimately leading a judge to issue a warrant for his arrest.
Jackson was apprehended on Sept. 10 and made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court on Sept. 11. His preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 16.