Authorities in Phoenix are looking for a man caught on surveillance video torching a LGBT youth center – one year after he aged out of the program.
Darren William Beach Jr., 26, is being sought by police in connection to an intentionally set fire at the one.n.ten youth center in Phoenix on July 12. No injuries were reported, but some staffers at the youth center are “shaken” by the incident.
“Our youth whom we serve have been worried,” a statement on the center’s website reads. “Some are shaken. Our staff has been juggling the many issues that surrounded this loss with a great deal of professionalism, but also with heartache and long hours … Still, this news hurts.”
Beach began using the center’s service in 2013 and aged out in early 2016 once he turned 25, according to the center.
“We had no warning signals from him throughout his time with us,” the statement continues. “There was nothing to let on that he had anything against our organization.”
Investigators initially thought the building caught fire due to “spontaneous combustion,” The Arizona Republic reports, but video surveillance footage recovered from the building showed a man walking outside with a gas canister before emptying it on the floor inside. The room is then engulfed in flames.
The group, which lost electronic equipment, food and camping equipment in the blaze, has no plans to return to the damaged building, its executive director told the Arizona Republic.
“The sort of good news here is we had already started the build-out for our new youth center back in early June and that will be completed in early September,” Linda Elliott told the newspaper.
Anyone with information regarding Beach’s whereabouts is asked to call Phoenix police at (602) 262-6151. A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest.