Person of Interest Questioned in Queens Firebomb Attacks; Surveillance Video Released [Updated]


Surveillance video and a police sketch of the suspect in the Queens firebomb attacks that took place Sunday night have been released, and police are reportedly now questioning a person of interest. The attacks involved Molotov cocktails made from Starbucks bottles; they struck the Imam Al-Khoei Foundation, an Islamic cultural center, as well as two private homes, one of which is used as a Hindu house of worship, and a bodega, all in Jamaica, Queens. A fifth home, just across the Queens border on Long Island, may have been targeted as well.

There were no injuries, though about 80 people were in the Imam-Khoei Foundation building, which was struck twice, at the time, and one of the private homes was severely damaged.

Today Mayor Bloomberg visited the center and said, via NBC NY, “officials aren’t speculating on whether the Molotov cocktail attacks were ‘senseless violence or a hate crime,'” but the matter is under investigation.

The suspect has been described as 25 to 30 years old, about 5-foot-8 and 200 pounds. He fled in a light-colored, four-door sedan. According to the New York Post, the man had earlier threatened workers at the bodega he attacked after they caught him trying to steal milk and a bottle of Starbucks Frappucino.

There’s a reward being offered by the police for information leading to the man’s arrest and conviction.

Update: The “person of interest” has reportedly confessed, via NY1, for the firebomb attacks. His name has not yet been released. He’ll face charges related to arson.

Police Question Person of Interest in Firebomb Attacks [NBC NY]