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St. Paul man sentenced to 9 years in prison for arson attack on Target headquarters during riot

30December 2021

A St. Paul man will spend more than nine years in prison for setting a fire inside Target headquarters and looting in downtown Minneapolis in the summer of 2020.

Victor D. Edwards, 32, was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis to 9 13 years after being found guilty in August of arson and looting following a four-day trial.

Two accomplices, Shador T.C. Jackson, 25, of Richfield, and Le­roy L.P. Williams, 35, of Minneapolis, each pleaded guilty earlier to conspiracy to commit arson. Jackson has been sentenced to 2 ¾ years in prison, while court records show that Williams’ sentence is pending.

All three de­fend­ants have fel­o­ny re­cords in Minnesota. Jackson has con­vic­tions for se­cond-de­gree as­sault and drug pos­ses­sion. Edwards was con­victed in 2016 for third-de­gree crim­i­nal sex­ual con­duct. He’s also been con­victed of theft, drug pos­ses­sion and child en­dan­ger­ment. Williams has been convicted of theft, il­legal pos­ses­sion of a fire­arm in public and bur­gla­ry.

The arson and loot­ing erupt­ed on the evening of Aug. 26, 2020, after Eddie Frank Sole Jr., 38, fa­tal­ly shot him­self on Nicollet Mall. Sole was sus­pected of shooting and killing another man earlier that day. Sole’s death by su­i­cide sparked a false ru­mor that po­lice had killed him.

Prosecutors say the fire caused nearly $1 million in damage to the Target headquarters. Edwards’ sentence also includes that he pay restitution of $941,682.28. However, the court determined that Edwards is unable to meet the financial obligation and has set up a repayment plan with nominal installments that would continue after his release from prison.

According to prosecutors:

Edwards, Jackson and Williams went to the Target head­quar­ters on Nicollet, where doz­ens of oth­ers were riot­ing. Jackson used a con­struc­tion sign to break through a glass door of the build­ing. The three then went in­side, where Jackson set a fire on a count­er in the mail­room and Edwards add­ed a li­quid ac­cel­er­ant.

Edwards was then captured on video surveillance entering the nearby Brit’s Pub, which soon became engulfed in flames.

That same night, Edwards and Jackson stole designer purses and other items from Saks Off Fifth. Edwards sent text messages to various acquaintances telling them about the purses. A text back from one acquaintance asked why he was downtown. Edwards replied, “Lootin.”

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