PD: Man set fires in Phoenix mall, went on rampage at Wal-Mart

PHOENIX - A 20-year-old man is facing several charges after he allegedly set two fires inside a west Valley mall Sunday morning.

Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said officers responded to a call of someone throwing rocks at windows outside Desert Sky Mall at 75th Avenue and Thomas Road around 8:45 a.m.

Damage was minor and the suspect was seen running south into a field.

Thompson said a short time later the same suspect was seen inside the mall and a call came out of someone setting fires inside the mall.

The suspect had used a lighter to set fire to a gift card stand inside the mall’s guest services department, then kicked in a door to another business and used the lighter to set two kiosks on fire, Thompson said.

Thompson said interior sprinklers and security personnel were able to put out the fires and damage was relatively minor.

While officers were investigating this incident and maintaining a perimeter around the mall, another call came out of a subject inside a nearby Wal-Mart matching the description of their suspect.

Thompson said the man was confronted by employees when he went behind the paint counter and then he grabbed a rubber mallet from a cupboard and began swinging it at the manager and another employee.

The suspect also began to knock items over in the store as he moved toward the exit where he began to pound on windows with the mallet.

Officers took the suspect into custody without incident as he was leaving the Wal-Mart store.

The suspect, identified as Rajee Godwin, was booked into jail on charges of aggravated assault, criminal damage and burglary.


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