Suspected Portland firebomber arrested for trying to murder police officers

Louis Casiano
·2 min read

A man suspected of multiple firebomb attacks on Portland police officers last year — allegedly throwing Molotov Cocktails during violent demonstrations — was arrested last week in Indiana, authorities said Monday.

Malik Muhammed, 24, was taken into police custody in Indianapolis on multiple warrants, the Portland Police Bureau said. He is charged with first- and second-degree attempted murder, attempted aggravated murder, unlawful manufacture of a destructive device, and unlawful use of a weapon.

"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," Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell said in a statement. "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."

Police said Muhammed threw an incendiary device that didn't explode at police officers on Sept. 21 at the Penumbra Kelly Building, which houses some Portland Police and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office operations.

On Sept. 23, he allegedly threw a firebomb that scorched the uniform of a police officer. The close call came after Kentucky prosecutors opted not to charge Louisville police officers in connections with the death of Breonna Taylor.

All told, Muhammed's actions were responsible for tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to windows in downtown Portland, including at the Historical Portland Society, during an Oct. 11 attack, police said.

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Authorities initially arrested another man, Joseph Sipe, for allegedly throwing a Molotov Cocktail on Sept. 23. Prosecutors declined not to charge him after he did not appear to be the person who threw the device at police, the Oregonian reported.

Muhammed is being held in Indiana pending an extradition hearing.