Woman suspected of burning Atlanta Wendy’s has same name as Rayshard Brooks’ girlfriend

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The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department announced that a warrant was issued for a suspect in the fire at the Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed.

The woman, identified as Natalie White, may have been the “girlfriend” of Brooks who was heard telling police officers about her before he was killed, according to police bodycam footage. Video surveillance footage of the 29-year-old woman was shared during a news conference on Tuesday.


(Source: 11Alive/YouTube)

White is suspected of being involved in the blaze that was set at the Atlanta Wendy’s on June 13 where Brooks was killed by police last week after resisting arrest and taking off with a taser. Garrett Rolfe, the officer who shot Brooks,  was charged with 11 counts including felony murder.

The arrest warrant issued for White is on suspicion of arson in the first degree, the fire department said, which is considered a felony in the state of Georgia. Atlanta fire officials had shared images of White as well as another suspect wearing black clothes and a facial covering during a press conference last week, Fox 5 reported.

Authorities had announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone involved in the fire, and the State Arson control board announced an additional $10,000 reward.

“We take arson very seriously,” Atlanta Fire Sgt. Cortez Stafford said, adding that there could be more suspects.  “Someone could have been injured or killed.”

Authorities noted that the fire the day after Brooks was killed had been started in “multiple locations using multiple incendiary devices” and that at least 10 attempts were made to torch the building.

According to Atlanta Fire Chief Randall Slaughter, firefighters trying to get to the blaze were pelted with bricks and rocks by protesters who had gathered at the site the day after the incident, breaking the windows to the restaurant before it was set on fire. Officials believed there were “hundreds” of people gathered there that night and hindered about 60 firefighters who were trying to respond.

An Atlanta Fire Rescue Department representative reportedly would not comment on the relationship between Brooks and White, whom he referred to as his “girlfriend” in police body-cam footage despite reports that he was a married man with children.

“We are not releasing any additional information at this time,” the department said in a statement.

Authorities encouraged anyone with information about White’s whereabouts or other information related to the fire, to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477 or the Arson Tip Line at 1-800-282-5804.

Twitter users reacted to news about the warrant and the possible relationship between Brooks and White.

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Frieda Powers

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