A 24-year-old Richfield man was charged in U.S. District Court with arson Friday for allegedly breaking into the Target headquarters building in downtown Minneapolis and starting a fire in the mailroom.
The incident occurred at 10:55 p.m. on Aug. 26 during a night of civil unrest after the suspect in a downtown homicide killed himself and a false rumor circulated that he had been shot and killed by police.
Shador Tommie Cortez Jackson, who was charged with arson, made an initial appearance Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tony Leung in Minneapolis and was ordered detained pending a formal detention and preliminary hearing Wednesday.
U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald issued a news release saying that investigators had reviewed Target surveillance video showing Jackson using a construction sign to break through one of the glass doors at the headquarters at 1000 Nicolett Mall.
Additional video inside the store shows Jackson entering the Target mailroom and setting a fire on a counter, according to a criminal complaint drawn up by Sara Thomas, a special agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Thomas wrote that Jackson appeared to pour liquid from a bottle before or immediately after starting the fire, then walked away. She said it is believed to be an ignitable liquid used to accelerate the fire. The damage was initially reported as minor.
Jackson is seen in a video running out of the building along with a second person, the complaint says.
City surveillance cameras showed that about a half-hour later, Jackson entered a white Ford Explorer that was registered to him, the ATF complaint says.
At 12:49 a.m. on Aug. 27, Richfield police stopped Jackson in his Explorer because he was playing music so loud it could be heard 50 feet away, the complaint says. Inside the vehicle were opened alcohol bottles, the smell of marijuana and a small plastic bag containing what police believed to be marijuana. Also in the vehicle were many articles of clothing with price tags on them but security tags cut off.
Jackson was later charged by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office with receiving stolen property.