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Historic Rosary Cathedral vandalized, doors set on fire overnight

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 5:58 AM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Officials are investigating a case of arson and vandalism from early Monday morning at Rosary Cathedral in Toledo.

Toledo Fire crews were called out to the church in the 2500 block of Collingwood at 2:22 a.m. The first crews on the scene reported no sign of fire evident. Upon further investigation, crews found the large wooden entry doors had been damaged by a flash fire that had extinguished itself before they arrived. There was no other damage.

There was also graffiti visible on the exterior walls around the door, saying “Jesus is Black” and “Black Jesus.”

According to Toledo Police, they believe the suspect in the cathedral fire, Christopher Harris, 27, was involved in a standoff later Monday evening that ended with him being shot and killed, and a Toledo Police officer killed.

The Diocese of Toledo released a statement later Monday morning on the arson and vandalism, saying in part, “We are alarmed and heartsick by what occurred at the mother church of the Diocese of Toledo, a sacred building, a house of worship and an historical, architectural and spiritual treasure.”

Investigators determined the fire was intentionally set, with a total loss estimate at $5,100.

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