New London police: Arson suspect was seeking payback

The Copper Shot Bar in downtown New London is damaged by fire, May 20, 2014. (WLUK/Pauleen Le)

NEW LONDON - New London police say a 19-year-old New London man was seeking payback when he threw a Molotov cocktail at an apartment door Tuesday morning.

New London Police Lt. Chris Gregory says that revelation came from interviews with the man, who is now facing recommended charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, arson and damage to property. FOX 11 is not naming the man as he has yet to be formally charged.

The department is referring the charge of attempted first-degree intentional homicide "because there were people living in the building and he threw a Molotov cocktail at the doorway, of the person he intended to send a message to or intended to harm," Gregory said.

It's a case Gregory says he's never seen before in his 20 years with the department.

"Not this type of an arson that people had to jump out of a back window to get out."

Those two people were injured. Six people, in total, were displaced from the apartments above the Copper Shot bar in the 300 block of W. North Water St.

Tied to two fires

Gregory says the man was at first uncooperative with investigators, but has since confessed to starting the first fire above the bar around 3:00 a.m. He says the man is also connected to a playground fire outside New London High School that started about an hour later.

"I can't go into the details of what he told us, as of yet, as we're still talking with witnesses," said Gregory when asked about the motive behind the second fire, "but we did tie both together."

There's still no word on the damage costs to the playground, apartments and building.

However, the building's owner says he hopes to have the apartments and building repaired by Saturday at the latest.

The suspect is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.