PORTLAND, Ore.—U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that Gabriel Agard-Berryhill, 18, has been charged by criminal complaint with using fire to maliciously damage the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in downtown Portland on July 28, 2020.
“No legitimate protest message is advanced by throwing a large explosive device against a government building. Mr. Agard-Berryhill’s actions could have gravely injured law enforcement officers positioned near the courthouse, other protesters standing nearby, or himself,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “I applaud the ATF agents and U.S. Marshals Service deputies who worked quickly to identify Mr. Agard-Berryhill before he had an opportunity to hurt others.”
“The violent opportunists engaged in dangerous acts of violence, such as arson, need to realize there will be grave consequences,” said Russel Burger, U.S. Marshal for the District of Oregon. “Serious crimes of this nature go beyond mere property damage to the courthouse and endanger people’s lives.”
According to court documents, at approximately 11:50pm on July 28, 2020, security cameras at the Hatfield Federal Courthouse captured footage of a large incendiary object enter the building’s portico area and land near plywood sheeting affixed to the building’s façade. A few seconds later, the object exploded, igniting a fire near the building’s main entrance. Federal law enforcement personnel collected various items near the site of the explosion and sent them to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) laboratory for further analysis.