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LGBT+ journalism

Crime

Shocking video shows man setting an LGBT youth centre on fire

Josh Jackman July 28, 2017
arizona lgbt youth centre fire

(Phoenix Fire Department)

Shocking images of a man setting an LGBT youth centre on fire have emerged.

A man strode into the one.n.ten centre in Phoenix, Arizona, with a petrol can, which he proceeded to empty all over the establishment.

The arsonist then left just before the flames began and spread throughout the centre, which serves 14 to 24-year-olds in the community.

arizona lgbt youth centre fire
(Phoenix Fire Department)

No-one was harmed in the attack on the charity, which is being treated by police as arson.

Authorities are asking for the public’s help to find a suspect, 26-year-old Darren William Beach Jr, who police say is 6’2″ and around 280 pounds.

One.n.ten executive director Linda Elliott told local news site azcentral.com that Beach used to take part in one.n.ten programmes, but is now too old for the service.

Because he is a previous participant, police are not treating the incident as a hate crime.

Elliott said her first reaction to the video was “shock.

“I mean, it’s one thing to have a fire, but it’s a lot more traumatising to have an arson,” she added.

One.n.ten lost electronic equipment, hygiene and personal products, food and camping equipment in the fire.

It is currently unclear what will be covered by the institution’s insurance.

arizona lgbt youth centre fire
(Phoenix Fire Department)

But there was light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to generous locals.

“It’s just been an incredible response from the community,” said Elliott.

arizona lgbt youth centre fire
(Phoenix Fire Department)

“From the next day until today, people have just been streaming in here, making donations, bringing supplies, buying things.”

And there is a backup plan.

“The sort of good news here is we had already started the build-out for our new youth centre back in early June and that will be completed in early September,” said Elliott.

More: Americas, Arizona, arson, attack, Charity, Community, Crime, fire, Law, lgbt youth, Phoenix, police, US, US

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