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Police ID woman suspected of vandalizing Charleston 9 memorial

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Charleston firefighters and police officers walk through the memorial to the nine firefighters who perished in the Sofa Super Store blaze. The site was vandalized Friday, June 26, 2020. File/Brad Nettles/Staff

Charleston police have issued two warrants for a woman suspected of vandalizing a memorial dedicated to nine Charleston firefighters who died while battling a blaze.

Eman Mubarak Brown, 32, will face charges of malicious injury to real property, attempts to burn and petit larceny.

Police claim Brown, of West Ashley, ripped PVC pipe crosses from the ground and tore American flags from their poles at Charleston Nine Memorial Park on June 26, dousing some of the tributes in gasoline. About two hours later, police spokesman Charles Francis said, she took a state flag and American flag from the pole at the CresCom Bank on Orleans Road.

The Fire Marshal Division and police investigated together, identifying Brown after seeing private surveillance footage from the bank and a nearby business, according to Francis.

The nine crosses at the memorial park in West Ashley honor nine Charleston firefighters who died when a roof caved in on them as they tried to douse the flames that engulfed the Super Sofa Store in 2007. 

A passerby noted the damage at the memorial early Friday morning and firefighters made repairs as police began investigating the vandalism.

“This memorial celebrates how they lived their lives, more so than how they died,” Fire Chief Daniel Curia said after discovering the damage. “It also is a symbol of hope for all of us, that we are standing together, that we can do better, and as a society we can move forward.”

Police haven't announced any suspected motive.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Brown had yet to be arrested.

Reach Sara Coello at 843-937-5705 and follow her on Twitter @smlcoello.

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