Los Angeles

DTLA Arsonist Was Angry at Police Killings of African Americans: Witness

The man accused of intentionally setting fire to a massive under-construction apartment complex in downtown Los Angeles last year was angry about police killings of African Americans, a witness testified Tuesday during a preliminary hearing.

On the morning of Dec. 8, 2014, a fire spread quickly over the 75,000-square-foot unoccupied Da Vinci apartments, burning the seven-story wood frame structure next to the 110 Freeway. The busy downtown LA freeway was closed during the morning drive as firefighters knocked down the fire.

Several adjacent buildings were also damaged in the blaze, which was estimated to cause near $100 million in damages.

Dawud Abdulwali, 56, was arrested in May of last year on suspicion of setting off the blaze. He is on trial facing one felony count each of arson of a structure and aggravated arson.

He has pleaded not guilty.

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