Police in Jackson, Mississippi, on Tuesday arrested a man in connection with several fires across the city.
The Associated Press has reported that Devin McLaurin has been charged with felony corruption kidnapping, according to the Jackson Police Department. Police said McLaurin is also under investigation by the FBI and may face additional federal charges.
The Jackson Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to the Associated Press, the two buildings that burned down in Jackson were two churches, one of which burned completely. Fences around the baseball practice field at Jackson State University have also been torched, according to the Associated Press.
The Hinds County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that it had arrested McLaurin in connection with the fires but did not provide any additional information about his motive.
About a third of his department has responded to calls related to the fires, said Patrick Armon, an assistant fire chief for the Jackson Fire Department.
“I’ve been here for 30 years,” Armon told WAPT. “This is a big event.” “It’s not something we usually go to. We have about a third of our management in locations.”
The Epiphany Lutheran Church, one of the oldest predominantly black Lutheran churches in Mississippi, has been burned for more than four hours, according to the Associated Press.
“It destroyed the church and everything inside,” Lloyd Caston, a 73-year-old elder in Epiphany, told The Associated Press.
Irvin Rex, director of communications for the Greater Bethlehem Temple Church, said their church was also damaged in the Children’s Sunday School District, according to WAPT.
“We can’t always understand why people do evil, but we know that’s what we do. It’s our job to beat evil with good. That’s why we are committed to continuing to help this community,” Rex said.
Church representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.