Two men have pleaded guilty to setting fires last summer inside Target's world headquarters in downtown Minneapolis amid rioting over a false rumor that a Black man had been killed by police.
Shador T.C. Jackson, 24, of Richfield, and Leroy L.P. Williams, 34, of Minneapolis, each pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis to conspiracy to commit arson. Both remain jailed ahead of Judge Patrick Schiltz sentencing of Jackson on May 4 and Williams on May 18.
Arson and looting erupted on the evening of Aug. 26, when Eddie Frank Sole Jr., 38, fatally shot himself on Nicollet Mall shortly after he was suspected of shooting and killing another man. Sole's suicide sparked a false rumor that police had killed him.
Prosecutors say that Jackson, Williams and co-defendant Victor D. Edwards, 31, of St. Paul, went to the Target headquarters on Nicollet, where dozens of others had gathered and started rioting.
Jackson is accused of using a construction sign to break through a glass door of the building. The three then went inside, where Jackson intentionally set a fire on a counter in the mailroom and Edwards added a liquid accelerant, according to the charges.
Edwards, Jackson and Williams along with others fled out the same door they entered, but Williams allegedly returned and attempted to start a fire inside the building's entrance.
All three defendants have felony records in Minnesota. Jackson has convictions for second-degree assault and drug possession. Edwards was convicted in 2016 in Hennepin County for third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He's also been convicted of theft, drug possession and child endangerment. Williams has been convicted seven times for theft, twice for illegal possession of a firearm in public, and once each for burglary and receiving stolen property.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482