Arson investigation underway in Parrish

Arson investigation in Parrish

PARRISH, Ala. (WBRC) - Investigators believe three fires in the town of Parrish were intentionally set. The latest was a church fire early Wednesday morning.

"We’re all upset. And we’re just having a lot of emotions,” said Bobby Shedd, pastor of New Beginnings Church of God.

Police say someone broke in, stole some expensive items, then set the church on fire.

“We lacked three payments having it paid off. And it is, it’s devastating,” said Shedd.

Last week, there was also a fire at a private residence in the town. It is being investigated as arson.

On August 13, the Walker County Sheriff Office’s new substation - just days away from opening - was also set on fire.

"At this time, there has been no determination that any of these fires are linked to the other,” said Chief Julius Gamblin, Parrish Police.

Friday, the sheriff and the state fire marshal did announce one arrest in the substation fire. Investigators believe Joshua Little and one other person were paid to torch the new substation in retaliation towards the Sheriff’s department.

"Of course I’m concerned,” said Parrish Mayor La’Tisha Oliver. “But I don’t think anyone is too much worried that it’s an ongoing thing.”

The mayor adds that's because so many different agencies from local police to the ATF are now involved.

As for the latest victims, the city is making space available for the church to hold worship services.

Police say they do have one person of interest in the case.

"The only thing that goes through my mind is that I hope the people that did it, find the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior,” said Shedd.

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