Authorities have arrested an individual regarding suspicious fires at three historic black places of worship in southern Louisiana, a government investigator said.
U.S. Lawyer David C. Joseph reported late Wednesday that the suspect is in custody, and said government specialists stand shoulder to shoulder with the casualties
of “these vile demonstrations.” A Thursday news conference at the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office is arranged.
The first fire burnt the St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre a month ago. Days after, the Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in
Opelousas were also torched. Each was more than 100 years old, with mostly African American congregations.
The places of worship were vacant at the season of the flames, and nobody was harmed.
Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, who proclaimed every one of the three flames suspicious, said “If you’re going to turn to a house of God, turn to it for
The examination was joined by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and numerous individuals from state offices in Louisiana.