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UPDATE: Suspect arrested in connection to car fire at Jewish center

Jewish community coming together
Posted at 12:13 AM, May 09, 2017

UPDATE MAY 9: A suspect, identified as Afshin Bahrampour, has been arrested in connection to the fires at Chabad of Southern Nevada Desert Torah Academy.

"Absolutely no question in my mind anti-semitic hate crime, whatever you want to call it, that's what it was," said Rabbi Motti Harlig.

Others in the greater Las Vegas Jewish community are also impacted by this event.

Cantor Philip Goldstein leads the Congregation Shirat Shalom of Southern Nevada.

"I think in some ways it's disbelief that we never really had this  here," he said, "...anger, hatred, fear, why?"

Despite that, Cantor Goldstein still has compassion for the suspect.

"You can see the pain and suffering that someone like this goes through," he said, "...we have so much that binds us, more than what separates us."

ORIGINAL STORY

Las Vegas firefighters are investigating a car fire in the parking lot of Chabad of Southern Nevada Desert Torah Academy, located at 1261 Arville Street.

Police believe the fire was intentionally set while people were inside during evening services. There were no reported injuries. 

The fire was reported just after 8 p.m. Monday. When firefighters arrived one car was engulfed in flames on the front end. Firefighters were able to quickly put out the fire. Two other cars parked next that vehicle sustained minor damage.

People inside the center told investigators that earlier in the evening, around 6 p.m., there was a small fire set inside the building in a waste basket. That fire was put out by people inside the building. They did not notify the fire department because there was no damage.

Because two fires were set in a relatively short amount of time at a house of worship, arson investigators were brought in. Federal policy mandates that fires of a suspicious nature at a house of worship are to be investigated by the local fire department, police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).