MINNEAPOLIS — A man’s burned body was discovered Monday in the wreckage of a south Minneapolis pawn shop set ablaze during protests three days after the killing of George Floyd while in police custody.
Investigators from the Minneapolis Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the state fire marshal’s division were acting on a tip when they discovered the charred body in the debris of Max It Pawn, Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder told the Star Tribune.
“The body appears to have suffered thermal injury, and we do have somebody charged with setting fire to that place,” Elder told the newspaper, noting that city homicide detectives have taken over the investigation.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Minnesota, officials charged Montez Terriel Lee in June with arson in the pawnshop fire after video footage surfaced of him “pouring liquid from a metal container throughout the pawnshop,” The New York Times reported.
Elder told the Star Tribune the identity of the victim found Monday, along with the precise cause and manner of death, will be released by the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office after an autopsy is completed.
The dead man’s injuries have led investigators to believe his death and Lee’s arson are linked, the Times reported.