Police search for Richmond man accused of arson, attempted murde - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Police search for Richmond man accused of arson, attempted murder

Brandon S. Brown (Credit: Richmond Police Dept.) Brandon S. Brown (Credit: Richmond Police Dept.)

Richmond police are searching for a 22-year-old named Brandon Brown, who is wanted for setting an apartment on fire in an attempt to kill the woman living inside. The woman fought her way to safety at the Southwood Apartments not far from Hull Street.

Neighbors watched in disbelief as a crime scene unfolded in their South Richmond community on Sunday.

"This the first time I know something like this to happen, and I've been out there three years,” said a man who doesn’t want to be identified.

He lives near the very unit investigators say Brandon Brown intentionally set on fire.

"Somebody came knocking on the door saying, ‘Come out of your apartment, because it's a fire.’ All of us had to leave, go out there and stand on the curb until they did whatever they had to do," he explained.
Investigator Andre Roberts says Brown was trying to kill the woman who lived in the unit by igniting a bed mattress.

"It was some type of open flame used, like a lighter,” Roberts explained.

The suspect didn't stop there. Investigators say Brown then forced the victim into a separate room and fixed the door in a way that was supposed to prevent her from getting out.

"He had actually pulled the door into the frame causing it to jam in the frame, so when you push those light apartment doors with great force, it has a tendency to happen. Almost like a sticky door, but in this case, a little bit more than a sticky door,” Roberts added.

It didn't work. The female fought her way through the bedroom door and ran to safety.

"She was met with heavy smoke and heat conditions... she was very fortunate and lucky to get out of there without any injuries,” Roberts said.

Now the hunt is on to bring the suspect to justice.

"Now nothing surprised me. You just have to be careful and hope you don't be in the way of it,” the neighbor added.

Brown lives just a couple of miles away from the crime scene. He is known to frequent Southwood Apartments and the South Gate Apartments on Maury Street. 

Anyone with any information on Brown's whereabouts is asked to call Fire Investigator Andre Roberts at 804-646-6814 or call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000 or text Crime Stoppers at 274637, using the key word “ITip” followed by your tip. Both Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

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