Three teenagers have been arrested in Denver in connection to an arson attack on a house that killed five family members over the summer.
The teens were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the fatal August fire that killed Djibril and Adja Diol, along with their 3-year-old daughter Kadidia. Hassan Diol, who was Djibril’s sister, and Hassan’s infant daughter Hawa Beye were also killed in the blaze. Three others survived the fire by jumping out of the home’s second floor.
The young suspects have not been identified because of their age, but have been confirmed as two 16-year-old males and one 15-year-old male, the Denver Police noted in a Wednesday press release.
Since the blaze, authorities have contended that at least one arsonist set the fire and then “fled the area,” according to the release. Surveillance footage captured images of three individuals in dark hoodies and full masks leaving the scene, CNN reported in August.
The teenagers now all face five charges of first-degree murder, in addition to three counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, three counts of first-degree arson, eight counts of fourth-degree arson, and one count each of first and second-degree burglary.
While the teens are known to one another, they are not related, police said. It’s unclear what their relationship is to the victims. Police said that there is "limited releasable information" about the investigation, but they noted that at this stage, they have "not uncovered any evidence that indicates this crime was motivated by bias." A possible motive is still unclear.
"We continue to express our condolences to those affected by this crime," Denver Police Chief Paul M. Pazen said.
The family had immigrated to the United States from Senegal and police described them as “thriving” before they were killed.
“[Djibril Diol] was doing all the things he needed to do to provide his family with an amazing life in America, and that was all cut short on that day,” Denver Police Department Division Chief Joe Montoya said at a 2020 press conference.
He vowed to look into any possible hate crime motivations behind the fire.
Macky Sall, the president of Senegal, previously expressed his condolences to the family of the victims via Twitter.
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