Three people were indicted Thursday in connection with fires set inside Target's world headquarters in downtown Minneapolis amid rioting over a false rumor that a Black man had been killed by police.
Indicted on Thursday in U.S. District Court with conspiracy to commit arson are Shador T.C. Jackson, 24; Victor D. Edwards, 31, of St. Paul; and Leroy L.P. Williams, 34, of Minneapolis.
Detention hearings have yet to be scheduled. Jackson and Williams are in custody, while Edwards is residing at a halfway house, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
According to the federal indictments and other court documents:
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.
Edwards, Jackson and Williams 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 joined others and went inside, where Jackson intentionally set a fire on a counter in the mailroom and Edwards added a liquid accelerant.
Jackson also attempted to light a second fire in the mailroom atop cardboard boxes using a lighter and a bottle of ignitable liquid.
Edwards, Jackson and Williams along with others fled out the same door they entered. Williams allegedly returned, however, and attempted to start a fire inside the building's entrance.
Williams' attorney, Matthew Mankey, maintained his client's innocence, saying Thursday "that's not what he was doing."
Mankey added that Williams "was having an especially tough day" because the man who was shot and killed earlier in the day was his stepfather, 61-year-old Eddie George Gordon.
Attorneys for Jackson and Edwards were not available to respond to the allegations.
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