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Suspect sets Norman convenience store on fire, nearly destroys it, police say

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – A Norman business went up in flames.

Boomer Express on North Porter Avenue is nearly destroyed.

“Everything is ruined,” says Asif Safi, the manager at the convenience store.

Early Wednesday morning, owners woke up to surveillance video of a man inside their store, not looking for cash, but trying to start a fire.

“He was spraying all of that butane around on all of our products,” says Safi.

Within minutes, Norman Police arrived on scene. Meanwhile, the owner watched live surveillance of his store burning. Officers chose to wait outside because they feared the man was armed.

“We have to ensure the safety of all involved,” says Sarah Jensen with the Norman Police Department.

Just seconds later, an explosion, causing the small flames to turn dangerous.

The suspect barely escaped in time, forced to bust out the glass front doors.

Twenty-four-year-old Mark McCullough, seen in a mug shot from 2016, was immediately arrested by officers, but quickly rushed to the hospital after officers discovered he had taken a dangerous amount of drugs.

For the store’s owner, he won’t be behind bars soon enough.

“I don’t understand why he chose my store,” says Muhammad Ali Raza.

McCullough is still in the hospital and has not been booked into jail, but Norman police have already presented the Cleveland County District Attorney with a request for charges to be filed. They say they will make an arrest as soon as he recovers.

Story by KFOR reporter Taylor Adams

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