Thursday, January 28, 2021

Three teens arrested in Denver fire that killed five Senegalese immigrants

 Three teenage boys were arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of murder and arson stemming from a house fire last year that killed a family of five Senegalese immigrants, including two small children, police said.


Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said the three juveniles were being held for investigation on nearly two dozen charges, including five counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder and eight counts of first-degree arson.

Besides the five victims who perished in the blaze, three people inside the house escaped the flames by leaping from an upstairs window, police said.

Pazen declined to name the suspects, a 16-year-old boy and two other boys 15 years of age, because they are minors and have not been formally charged. All three were taken into custody in neighboring Jefferson County.

The Aug. 5, 2020, fire deaths shook members of Denver's ethnic Senegalese community who feared the family whose house burned may have been targeted because they were Muslim immigrants from the West African nation.

The case garnered widespread media attention, and police early on released surveillance photos of three masked individuals wearing hooded sweatshirts who investigators believed set the home ablaze.

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