SEATTLE - Two weeks after someone poured gasoline to start a fire in a Seattle gay nightclub, police are releasing images of a man they consider a person of interest.
The black and white images were taken from surveillance cameras inside Neighbours, the well-known bar on the 1500 block of Broadway. Detectives are also hoping any of the 750 people celebrating there on New Year's Eve will review their photos and videos from that night.
Neighbours spokesman Shaun Knittel was among those celebrating the beginning of 2014 in the crowd. He has also seen the surveillance video from that night. Police have decided to release just a few stills, which Knittel does not understand. "Somebody had intent to come in here and burn or kill people," he said outside of the club on Monday night.
Knittel says when he saw the original surveillance video, he had no doubt the man in the images had something to do with the fire. He says the pictures can't begin to tell the story of how the man seemed to be "on a mission."
Knittel says the man came into the club right as midnight was striking and while everyone else was distracted, hugging, kissing, and taking pictures. Knittel says the man did not talk to anyone in the very large crowd, and cameras recorded him as he headed up the stairs, where he got just one glass of water. The man went back down the stairs, and, moments later, the flames broke out.
Seattle police have released five stills but no video. KIRO 7 called at 5 p.m. Monday to ask why they are not releasing the video. We'll let you know when they get back to us.