By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two men pleaded guilty this week to starting a fire in Target’s headquarters in Minneapolis last August when rioting broke out downtown after rumor spread that police fatally shot a Black man.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota says 24-year-old Shador Jackson, of Richfield, and 34-year-old Leroy Williams, of Minneapolis, each pleaded guilty Monday to one count of conspiracy to commit arson in connection to the unrest on Nicollet Mall on Aug. 26.

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On that day, the unrest was sparked after a homicide suspect fatally shot himself on Nicollet Mall as police were closing in on him. With the death of George Floyd fresh in the city’s memory, rumor quickly spread that police had killed the man. Rioting and looting then broke out downtown before police released a video showing the man shooting himself.

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According to prosecutors, Jackson and Williams admitted to being part of a group that descended on Target’s headquarters amid the rioting. Jackson used a construction sign to break through the building’s glass doors. Once inside, Jackson set a fire on a counter in the building’s mailroom with help from 31-year-old Victor Edwards, who is also charged in the case.

Jackson tried to set a second fire in the mail room using carboard boxes and ignitable fluid. After the group left the building, Williams returned and tried to set a fire in the building’s entrance.

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Both Jackson and Williams are slated to be sentenced in May.