Police search home of man dead after temple arson, shooting

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Authorities in southern Nevada seized computer and electronic items Tuesday from the home of a man who police say torched a Buddhist temple, shot toward a least one monk fleeing the fire, ignited another blaze at a nearby home and shed his clothes before shooting himself dead in a neighbor’s yard.

Investigators think Derek Debrowa, 38, acted alone in the Sunday evening arsons and shooting, and they are trying to determine his motive, North Las Vegas police Officer Eric Leavitt said.

Debrowa was single, unemployed and lived with his parents, spending most of his time with his computer, Leavitt said.

Debrowa had no criminal record. Leavitt said police had no record of previous calls to or from the home.

No one was injured fleeing gasoline-fueled flames and gunfire after dark at the Thai-Buddhist Temple-Las Vegas in North Las Vegas. A prayer building on the religious campus was damaged, but firefighters quickly doused flames inside the doorway of the main temple, which is about a 20-minute drive north of the Las Vegas Strip.

Four people ranging in age from 14 to 39 escaped unhurt from the home where investigators say Debrowa used gasoline to ignite more fires. Leavitt said police don’t think Debrowa had any connection with the residents of that home, and no gunfire was reported there.

Debrowa’s parents notified police about 9 p.m. that he was missing, along with a handgun that they legally owned. They also reported finding Debrowa’s clothes soaked in gasoline in their backyard, Leavitt said.

Debrowa was found dead about 10:30 p.m. in the yard of a neighbor who told police he didn’t know Debrowa. Leavitt said Debrowa was wearing boxer shorts, and officers found a handgun nearby. The Clark County coroner said Debrowa shot himself in the mouth.

North Las Vegas police were joined in the investigation by Las Vegas police, the FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

FBI spokeswoman Sandra Breault declined to comment about the investigation.

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