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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.
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.
An arrest warrant has been issued by Atlanta Fire Investigators for Ms. Natalie White. She has been identified as a suspect in the arson fire that burned down the Wendy’s Restaurant (125 University Ave) on Saturday, June 13th. Call 404-577-TIPS or 1-800-282-5804 with any info. pic.twitter.com/Xu6W2hgOi6
— Atlanta Fire Rescue (@ATLFireRescue) June 20, 2020
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.
— 🇺🇸 RealYCruz 🇺🇸 (@realyobanicruz) June 14, 2020
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.
Rayshard Brooks stated 3 times while talking to the police that a woman named “Natalie White” was his girlfriend
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 20, 2020
“We are not releasing any additional information at this time,” the department said in a statement.
Authorities will not tell us whether the two Natalie Whites are the same, or whether Brooks even had someone drop him off at the Wendy’s that night. @FOX5Atlanta
— Randy Travis (@RandyTravisFox5) June 20, 2020
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.
Wife of Rayshard Brooks: “He was…a great husband…he wanted to be home with us. I can only imagine that’s all he was thinking about. I know my husband.”
The body cam video shows Brooks repeatedly telling police he just wanted to rejoin a girlfriend (not his wife) in a hotel. pic.twitter.com/VYPYB1iAKj
— Mahound’s Paradise (@MahoundParadise) June 16, 2020
Drunk or not, who says their girlfriend’s first and last name like that, multiple times?
— 𝕄𝕦𝕤𝕖ƻ𝘵𝘩𝑒𝒫𝒽𝒶𝓇𝒶ổ𝒽☔️ (@Muse2Pharaoh) June 20, 2020
I thought he was married 😳 and now he has a girlfriend who happened to be a suspect for burning Wendy’s 🤔 pic.twitter.com/XwJRxvRmQx
— 🌺🌴Corgi_lover🌴🌺 (@BellaKellyz) June 20, 2020
Everyone would have known this if they didn’t cancel #LivePD
— Wayne Sida (@neurosidafex) June 20, 2020
You mean the girlfriend of rashad brooks.. yah know the guy y’all said was happily married. https://t.co/JjzAusO4VP
— zesty Sauce (@zestySauce2) June 22, 2020
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