A Halal butchers in in the Midlands was targeted by a man wielding a Molotov cocktail, who threw an ignited bottle at a member of staff and set the shop alight in what reports are calling a racist attack.
The incident, which took place on 27 June at around 5.25pm, saw a 6ft-tall white male wearing a blue jacket enter the store on Wednesbury Road in Pleck, Walsall. He then threw, what police described as, "an ignited bottle of accelerant" at a staff member, causing him some bruising and resulting in fire damage as the bottle ignited.
Detective Inspector Greg Evans, from Force CID, said: "The inquiry is at an early stage and I am keeping an open mind as to the motive. The man was not seriously injured, but it could have been much more serious. I am appealing for anyone with information or anyone who saw what happened to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."
The worker who was hit with the bottle did not suffer serious injuries, but the destruction caused to the shop can be seen from the outside, with pictures showing smoke damage and the ceiling part-collapsed.
The BBC reported one of the lines of police investigation would be as to whether the attack could have been racially motivated – making it the latest in a string of racist and xenophobic crimes to be reported since the Brexit vote.
Officers are currently making enquiries and examining CCTV footage, police said, adding that local officers will also be in the community to carry out reassurance patrols.