Suspected Nashville courthouse arsonist arrested

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A suspect has been arrested in connection to a fire set at Nashville’s historic Metro Courthouse on Saturday night.

Metro police along with SWAT officers arrested 25-year-old Wesley Somers on charges of felony arson, vandalism and disorderly conduct.

Somers was arrested Sunday evening at a home on Manzano Road in Madison. Members of the community led to his identification and subsequent arrest. He was booked into the Metro jail on $255,000 bond.

Somers was previously arrested in 2016 and charged with shooting heroin in a car in the parking lot of Walmart on Dickerson Pike with two young children in the car.

The investigation into the arson attack at the courthouse and other vandalism across Nashville is ongoing.

When asked if Nashville was properly prepared for the potential of riots, Mayor John Cooper said they had a plan and officers did their best to protect the city, but needed more support.

“You did end up with an opportunistic group that was seeking to find a weak link in our defenses and unfortunately they found the courthouse, and in doing that, they revealed that it has nothing to do, frankly, with social justice,” said Mayor Cooper.

Mayor Cooper explained moving forward will be a community effort.

“And so in the end, it’s on us to have a high community standard for toleration and speech and civility and working with each other. And let’s get back to that,” explained Mayor Cooper.

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