Police Arrest Man Connected to Church Fires in Jackson, Mississippi



  • Police in Mississippi on Monday arrested a man in connection with several fires across the city.
  • The Jackson Fire Department Chief told WLBT that “about a third” of the department was “on sites.”
  • Devin McLaurin was charged with felony malicious mischief, police say.

Police in Jackson, Mississippi on Tuesday arrested a man in connection with several arsons across the city.

Devin McLaurin was charged with felony malicious mischief, according to the Jackson Police Department, The Associated Press reported. McLaurin is also being questioned by the FBI and could face additional federal charges, police said. 

The Jackson Police Department did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

Two buildings that were burned in Jackson were churches, one of which was burned to the ground, per The Associated Press. The fences around the baseball practice field at Jackson State University were also burned, per The AP. 

The Hinds County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday it arrested McLaurin in connection with the fires but did not provide any additional information about his motivation.

Patrick Armon, assistant fire chief for the Jackson Fire Department, said about one-third of his department responded to calls about the fires.

“I’ve been here for 30 years. This is a major occurrence,” Armon told WAPT. “This is not something we normally go to. We have about a third of our department on sites.”

Epiphany Lutheran Church, one of the oldest predominately Black Lutheran churches in Mississippi, burned for more than four hours, according to The AP.

“It destroyed the church and everything in it,” Lloyd Caston, a 73-year-old elder at Epiphany told the AP.

Ervin Ricks, communications director for Greater Bethlehem Temple Church said that their church was also damaged in the area of the children’s Sunday school, according to WAPT.

“We can’t always understand why people do evil, but we know that it’s our job. It’s our job to overcome evil with good. That’s why we’re committed to continue to help this community,” Ricks said.

Representatives for the churches did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 



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