Suspect in attack on Gay and Lesbian Center may be in the military - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Suspect in attack on Gay and Lesbian Center may be in the military

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis police are questioning a second suspect in a fire and attack at the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, and he may be in the military.

As authorities sift through clues and evidence, sources tell Action News 5 that at least one of the two suspects in the attack on the Center is in the Air National Guard.

Investigators say Ross Burton and another man set fire to a rope attached to a gay pride flag Wednesday. When police arrived at the scene, Burton and the other man began fighting with the officers.  One of the men apparently tried to grab an officer's gun.

Investigators have not classified the attack as a hate crime.

Meanwhile, leaders at the Community Center say it's another wake-up call, adding it's not the first time something like this has happened.

"The first thing that went through my head was here we go again," said executive director Will Batts. "A few weeks ago, we had somebody tear down a billboard we put up for National Coming Out Day. So it seems to be a pattern."

Police are not saying if the two incidents are connected, or if the suspects are linked to both crimes.

Anyone with information that can help investigators is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (901) 528-CASH.

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