Main | Monday, January 13, 2014

SEATTLE: Video Shows Suspicious Man During Gay Nightclub Arson Attempt
UPDATE: Stills From Video Released

A spokesman for Seattle's Neighbours nightclub says that the police are looking into a "suspicious person" recorded by surveillance cameras shortly before the New Year's Eve arson attempt. Via television station KING 5:
According to Shaun Knittel of Social Outreach Seattle, police are looking closely at surveillance video the club handed over after someone doused the stairs with gasoline and set them on fire. Knittel continues to act as Neighbour's spokesperson, a club he and others call a piece of LGBTQ history in Seattle. In 30 years, he says, they've never seen an attack like this. Police have yet to name any evidence that would identify the arson as a "biased crime," and they would not comment on the details of their ongoing investigation. Knittel reports reviewing surveillance video, in which he describes someone entering the bar during the midnight countdown and acting suspiciously. "They did not look like a nightclub customer, let's put it that way," he said. "They moved very quickly. They were in the building for less than ten minutes, came into the building, did what they had to do, and go." Knittel would not describe the video in detail to respect the work of detectives.
More from Capitol Hill Seattle:
A person with knowledge of the investigation into the New Year’s arson fire at the dance club says a person of interest has been spotted in surveillance video and images recorded as flames erupted inside the packed disco. According to the source who spoke with CHS on the condition of anonymity, the man can be seen entering the club just before midnight. Beneath his coat, he is believed to be carrying a canister of gasoline later found at the scene.
Police say that the gasoline container found at the scene was a one-liter size plastic bottle and not the regular gallon-size that earlier reports seemed to imply. The fire was set in a stairwell just as over 700 patrons on the upper floor were counting down to midnight.

UPDATE: Seattle police have released stills from the surveillance video and are asking for the public's help in identifying the man.

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