News Releases

September 20, 2022: Man Charged With Arson in Victory Baptist Church Fire

Media Relations Division
(213) 257-2000

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced today that a man has been charged with three counts of arson in connection with the fire that destroyed the Victory Baptist Church in South Los Angeles last week.

“A church is a sanctuary, a place of worship, a place to heal and most of all a place to come together for the betterment of the community. The fire at the historic Victory Baptist Church deeply wounded our community,” District Attorney Gascón said. “It was heartening to hear that the leaders of Victory Baptist are looking to rebuild this institution where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached and gospel great Mahalia Jackson sang. I’m confident that Victory Baptist will continue to be a beacon of hope in South Los Angeles.

“I thank the investigators who presented this case to us. My prosecutors will work with diligence to make sure that the person responsible is brought to account.”

Carlos Francisco Diaz, (dob 11/4/98) was charged in case BA509106 with two counts of arson of a structure and one count of arson of a property. The complaint was filed for an arrest warrant on Sept. 15.

He is expected to be arraigned today in Department 30 of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Diaz was arrested on Sunday.

The complaint alleges he willfully, unlawfully and maliciously set fire to the church on South McKinley Avenue. Two counts apply to Diaz’s alleged conduct on Sept. 4 and one count applies to Sept. 11.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Los Angeles School Police Department.