Body Found in Pawn Shop That Was Torched During Minneapolis Riots

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.
July 21, 2020Updated: July 21, 2020

A body was discovered in the rubble of a pawn shop that rioters burned down in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody.

Investigators going through the burned wreckage at Max It Pawn on Lake Street in Minneapolis found a dead body of what is believed to be an adult male.

A Minnesota resident, 25-year-old Montez Terriel Lee, was charged last month with arson of the pawn shop.

Being that the body found in the rubble “appeared to have suffered thermal injuries,” investigators believe there is a connection between the arson and the death, John Elder, a Minneapolis police spokesman, told The Epoch Times in an email.

Minneapolis Police homicide detectives have taken over the case. The identity, along with the nature and cause of death, will be released by the Medical Examiner’s Office in the coming days.

The pawn shop was torched on May 28 amid riots in the wake of Floyd’s death. The black man died in police custody on Memorial Day after being accused of forgery.

Epoch Times Photo
People walk past the charred remains of a pawn shop destroyed during last week’s rioting, in Minneapolis, Minn., on June 3, 2020. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Epoch Times Photo
Montez Terriel Lee in booking photographs. (FBI)
Epoch Times Photo
A destroyed building still smolders near the Minneapolis Police 3rd Precinct the day after it was attacked and burned by rioters following the death of George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minn., on May 29, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Rioters burned down or damaged hundreds of stores in the Twin Cities.

EZCorp, the company that owns Max It Pawn, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The shop is located several blocks from the Third Precinct, a police station that was torched after city officials ordered officers to abandon it.

Lee was captured on video pouring liquid from a metal container throughout the shop, according to charging documents (pdf).

Another video showed Lee standing in front of the burning store. After one man asks him, “What you do, Tez?” he says: “[expletive] this place. We’re gonna burn this [expletive] down.”

A third video showed a group of men, including Lee, joking about restaurants they planned to “hit” next. Another portion of that video showed looting of the pawn shop.