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NEW DETAILS: Nearly-naked man sets fire to Buddhist temple, authorities seize computer, electronics

Witness: Man doused temple floor with gasoline
Posted: 11:27 PM, Dec 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-12-18 02:37:27-05
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UPDATE 11 P.M. DEC. 17: Authorities are revealing new details about the nearly-naked man who they say went on a bizarre crime spree, setting two buildings on fire, including a Buddhist temple Sunday, before killing himself.

This comes as 13 Investigates was able to track down those inside the Temple when the fire was set.

"He walked from inside and then put the gas, the gasoline, on the floor and tried to set the fire, and shooting at my mom," said Pete, a Temple Member who preferred not to reveal his last name.

Pete said he first noticed the flames and rushed outside with a fire extinguisher on Sunday around 7:30 p.m.

Moments later, the nearly-naked gunman made his presence known.

"I think at the same time, before he was shooting at me, he was at the building trying to set the fire on the other building that you see at the top," explained Pete.

"He's yelling, he's shouting, 'I hate you! I hate you!' twice after that," added Pete.

Six members inside the Thai Buddhist Temple in North Las Vegas at the time, the youngest just 14, were able to escape with their lives.

"He was shooting the lady who stayed in the temple, and I saw the lady just fell and I didn't know if the lady got shot or not," said one of the Monks through an English translator.

The monk says several shots were fired inside the temple, striking objects including a pillow, but no one was hit.

The gunman was able to get away and started a fire at a family's home about two blocks from the Temple, on Logan Avenue in North Las Vegas.

The family was displaced, but no one was hurt.

Police believe the gunman then went the backyard of another home and killed himself. He was identified by the coroner on Tuesday as Derek Debrowa.

Authorities say Debrowa had no apparent connection to the temple, the home he set on fire, or the home where he shot himself.

On Tuesday, investigators revealed they seized a computer and other electronics from the Debrowa's home he shared with his parents.

Investigators say Debrowa was unemployed and spent most of his time on the computer.

North Las Vegas Police say Debrowa's parents reported him missing around 9 p.m. on Sunday, after they found his gasoline-soaked clothing in their backyard.

Debrowa has no known criminal history.

UPDATE 11:17 A.M. DEC. 17: The Clark County coroner has identified the man who police believed set two fires on Dec. 15 as 38-year-old Derek Debrowa of North Las Vegas. His cause of death was a gunshot wound and his manner of death was suicide.

UPDATE DEC. 16: North Las Vegas police say two fires from Sunday night, one at a home and another at a nearby Buddhist temple, are believed to be connected and are being investigated as arson.

Authorities believe the fires were started by the same person, and say he shot a gun at one of the occupants of a house he tried to ignite.

Victims at the Buddhist temple say there were six people inside when the fire started.

They smelled the smoke then realized there were two fires, one in the main temple building and another in a smaller building outside.

The people started to put the fire out, then say they saw a man standing in the doorway of the main temple dousing the floor in gasoline saying, "I hate you."

He was holding a gun. They say he fired multiple shots but didn't hit anyone.

The witnesses found a bullet hole in a pillow inside the temple.

North Las Vegas police say the man was later found dead in a nearby backyard. Police say he shot himself.

The investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to call North Las Vegas Police Department at 702-633-9111.

To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

ORIGINAL STORY
NORTH LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- Two fires were reported in the same area and around the same time in North Las Vegas on Sunday evening.

The first, happening at a house along Logan Avenue around 7:50 p.m.

The second, happening at Thai Buddhist Temple-Las Vegas at 8:11 p.m.

The home had visible damage. The homeowner tells us that her home was set on fire intentionally.

13 Action News has calls into the North Las Vegas Police Department to find out if the fires are connected.