BOYLE HEIGHTS (CBSLA.com) — Several law enforcement agencies Wednesday announced a $100,000 reward in connection with a firebomb attack that targeted several families at a Boyle Heights apartment complex.
A series of small fires was set May 12 with Molotov cocktails at the Ramona Gardens Housing Project in the 1300 block of Vanegas Lane.
At least eight unidentified suspects were caught on video throwing the devices into four apartments.
CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen spoke with two of the victims of the attack. One of them said he saw eight young men wearing hooded sweat shirts running from the scene.
No injuries were reported, but neighbors expressed concern that the attacks might spark racial tensions among the black victims and the complex’s predominantly Latino residents.
Los Angeles police said 95 percent of the tenants are Latino, while only 3 percent are black.
KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports while a motive for the fires was never established, three of the four homes targeted were occupied by black families, which the FBI’s Tim Delaney said could prove to be the reason behind the incident.
“Certainly the possibility that this attack was racially motivated is among the working theories of the investigators,” said Delaney. “But until we identify the suspects and further the investigation, it would be premature to confirm that.”
The LAPD, LAFD, City Council, FBI and are all investigating the case.
“This is a zero-tolerance type issue. This is a crime that strikes right at the heart of public safety,” LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese said.
Anyone with information was asked to call (213) 484-6700.
“The way a lot of these crimes are solved is one brave individual or individuals will stand up and do the right thing. And they’ll call,” Carlos Canio of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said.