Suspect Arrested After Arson Outside Senator’s Office

( – An individual has been arrested in connection with a fire that was set at the entrance door of Senator Bernie Sanders’ office in Burlington, Vermont. Police located and arrested 35-year-old Shant Soghomonian AKA Michael Soghomonian at a LaQuinta Inn in South Burlington around 4 a.m. on Sunday, April 7th. Staff at the LaQuinta Inn identified Soghomonian as a guest of the hotel who had been staying there for several weeks. The door to Soghomonian’s room was blocked with “heavy items.” Police had to force the door open.

Surveillance cameras caught Soghomonian spraying a liquid assumed to be lighter fluid in front of the door to the building at One Church Street in Burlington around 10:45 a.m. on Friday, April 5th. Soghomonian then used a lighter to ignite the liquid and departed through a staircase as the flames spread. The Burlington Fire Department responded and quickly extinguished the flames. The door of the building and the vestibule were damaged by the blaze. Water from the sprinkler systems also contributed to the damage.

Seven members of Sanders’ staff were inside the office at the time of the fire. Other offices including a Chase Bank were occupied. Sanders was not inside the office. No injuries were reported.

Soghomonian was charged with using fire to damage the building. If convicted, Soghomonian could spend anywhere from 5 to 20 years in prison and face a fine of up to $250,000.

The Mayor of Burlington, Emma Mulvaney-Stanak issued a “special thank you” to the Burlington Police Dept, the ATF, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for bringing “swift resolution to this investigation.” Mulvaney-Stanak offered her support to the Justice Center, as well as to Senator Sanders and his staff.

Sanders told CNN that he is “deeply grateful” for the “swift, professional and coordinated efforts” of law enforcement. He told CNN he is thankful there were no injuries and that he appreciates the “outpouring” of support for himself and his staff.

A motive for the fire has not yet been determined.

Copyright 2024,