Woman Arrested After 2 Killed in Alleged Arson Attack at Sofa Store in Phoenix

Katisha Susan Smith is facing first-degree murder, arson and drug-related charges

<p>Getty</p> Stock photo of a fire


Stock photo of a fire

A woman has been arrested after a fire at an Arizona furniture store killed two people.

According to ABC 15 Arizona, local news site Arizona's Family and Fox 10 Phoenix, Katisha Susan Smith has been arrested in connection with a fire that broke out on Saturday night, April 27, before 10 p.m. local time at the Phoenix-based store J&J Sofa Manufacturing that resulted in the deaths of two unidentified people.

Smith, 44, faces two charges of first-degree murder and a charge of arson in connection with the incident, as well as unrelated drug charges, per the outlets.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office officials and Phoenix Fire Department were called to the scene of the fire near 59th Avenue and Buckeye Road on April 27, according to the outlets. They were unable to save the building, which was completely destroyed in the fire.

Arizona's Family reported that while on the scene, a local business owner approached officials with surveillance video footage that showed an SUV driving up to the furniture store and two people exiting the vehicle.

The video reportedly showed a woman, later identified as Smith, handing an object to an as-yet-unidentified man, who then lit the object on fire and threw the object toward J&J Sofa Manufacturing before both parties got back into the SUV and drove away.

ABC 15 reported that arson investigators found one unidentified person dead soon after they began investigating the scene, and a second unidentified body was found the next day.

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The Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner has classified both deaths as homicides, per Arizona's Family.

According to both Arizona's Family and ABC 15, a police report about the incident states that Smith, who was identified because of her tattoos, told officials that she was “forced to participate” in the incident.

Fox 10 reported that Smith's bond is set at $1 million. Any of her co-conspirators have not been identified.

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