• Robert R Zerfing

Portland Firebomber Arrested In Indiana For Attempted Murder Of A Police Officer And More

Malik Muhammed, 24, was brought into police custody in Indianapolis on multiple warrants, the Portland Police Bureau said. He is charged with attempted aggravated murder (two counts), attempted assault in the first degree (two counts), attempted murder in the first degree (four counts), attempted murder in the second degree (two counts), criminal mischief in the first degree (six counts), riot (four counts), unlawful manufacture of a destructive device (two counts), unlawful possession of a destructive device (two counts), unlawful possession of a firearm (one count), unlawful possession of a loaded firearm (one count) and unlawful use of a weapon (two counts).

According to the Portland Police Statement:

A suspect has been arrested in Indianapolis, Indiana, related to multiple firebomb attacks on police officers in 2020. The Portland Police Bureau Arson Unit, Portland Fire and Rescue Fire Investigators, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Federal Bureau of Investigation have been investigating uses of firebombs, also known as Molotov Cocktails, used against police during riots in the summer and fall of 2020.

On Friday, April 2, 2021, 24-year-old Malik Muhammed was arrested in Indianapolis on multiple warrants, including Attempted Aggravated Murder, Attempted Murder in the first degree, Attempted Murder in the second degree, Unlawful Manufacture of a Destructive Device, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Unlawful Possession of a Loaded Firearm in Public.

Investigators were assisted in serving the arrest and search warrants by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and FBI. The investigation implicated Muhammed in significant incidents of violence and destruction. Muhammed threw the firebomb that scorched the uniform of a police officer on September 23, 2020 near the intersection of Southwest 2nd Avenue and Southwest Main Street, in Portland.

Muhammed was responsible for throwing an incendiary device (photo), which did not ignite, at police officers at the Penumbra Kelly Building, 4735 East Burnside Street, on September 21, 2020. Muhammed was responsible for tens of thousands of dollars of damage to windows in downtown Portland, including at the Oregon Historical Society, on October 11, 2021.

"I am grateful to the investigators who spent many hours over the last few months following up these violent attacks against police officers and the community," said Chief Chuck Lovell. "I am also grateful to the brave officers who put themselves in harm's way serving this community. More investigations are underway. Anyone who thinks they can get away with trying to murder police officers and destroy this city should think again." Muhammed will be the subject of an extradition hearing, to be scheduled.

Specific Charges And Crimes

Incident #1

According to court documents, Muhammed engaged in “tumultuous and violent conduct” near the Portland Police Bureau’s East Precinct on September 5th that resulted in a “grave risk of causing public alarm.”

Incident #2

On September 21, court documents state that Muhammed threw a “large burning object” toward a police vehicle occupied by a Portland Police Bureau sergeant during a demonstration. The device did not explode. Police described the object as a large, yellow bottle that had a burnt rag stuffed in and contained a large amount of liquid that investigators tested and found it to be flammable. As part of the investigation into that incident, law enforcement where able to determine where the bottle was purchased and claim that video from the store shows Muhammed and another person buying a large amount of bats and multiple beer growlers.

Incident #3

Authorities also allege that on September 23, Muhammed threw a “large burning object” toward a group of officers outside the Multnomah County Justice Center. Police described the object as a large, yellow bottle “similar to a beer growler” and claim that the burning device exploded, causing a large fireball to cascade outward. One officer was “sprayed” with the flames and his lower leg caught fire for a moment, according to authorities.

As part of the investigation into this incident, law enforcement searched Muhammed’s cellphone and found a shopping list that included common ingredients used to make a Molotov cocktail, according to court documents.

Incident #4

According to court records, Muhammed on October 11 used a metal baton to smash the windows of the Oregon Historical Society, Portland State University, Sprint T-Mobile, Bank of America and Ben Bridge Jewelers. Law enforcement claims that when they found and arrested Muhammed later that day, they discovered a loaded pistol magazine in his pocket. During a search of the nearby vicinity, police located a loaded pistol. The magazine found on Muhammed was designed to fit the pistol, and in total, the pistol and magazine contained 30 rounds of 9mm ammunition, per police.

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