Arson suspected after fires at 6 predominantly African-American churches across St. Louis

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JENNINGS, MO (KTVI)- Someone has set fires to six predominantly African-American churches within the last few days across St. Louis. Now religious leaders are calling for an end to the attacks.

Both local and federal investigators are searching for the culprit. No one has been injured in any of the fires, but officials say it’s only a matter of time before someone is.

New Northside Baptist Church in Jennings was the second to be attacked. The congregation will walk through its doors to join hands in prayer later Wednesday. During a gathering Tuesday night, Reverend Roderick Burton said they won’t tolerate it.  He says the members aren’t “for it” and are putting out a message that they want it to stop.

ATF investigators believe those responsible for setting these fires are trying to send a message of fear. The motive, racial or otherwise, is still unclear.

Churchgoers say they won’t be intimidated.

St. Louis CrimeStoppers is offering a $2,000 reward to find the arson suspect or suspects.  Executive Director Jeff Roorda of the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association has matched that offer.  The total to find the suspects is $4,000.

If you have any information in this case please call CrimeStoppers at  1-866-371-TIPS (8477) or visit stlrcs.org.

 

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