Maplewood man charged with arson of Gordon Parks High in St. Paul amid riots

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA -- People paint "Black Lives Matter" on the the plywood protecting the Gordon Parks High School on University Avenue in St. Paul on Friday, May 29, 2020. (John Autey / MediaNews Group / St. Paul Pioneer Press via Getty Images) ((John Autey / MediaNews Group / St. Paul Pioneer Press via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

A 19-year-old Maplewood man has been federally charged with arson after allegedly starting a fire at a St. Paul high school amid the riots following George Floyd's death, according to the District of Minnesota U.S. Attorney's Office.

Mohamed Hussein Abdi made his first appearance Tuesday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul.

Mohamed Hussein Abdi has been federally charged with arson. (Anoka County Jail)

According to the complaint, on May 28, Gordon Parks High School was damaged by fire and vandalism. Surveillance cameras captured video of Abdi pouring a clear liquid on the cafeteria floor and later into a trashcan. Using a liquid-soaked garment, he set a fire in the trashcan and ran away as it began flaming and smoking.

The ATF and FBI is asking the public to report suspected arson, use of explosive devices, or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest in the Twin Cities. Anyone with information specifically related to business fires in the Twin Cities can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email or submit information anonymously via