Mesa police arrest arson suspect after fiery $5 million Target rampage

Jul 3, 2023, 8:00 PM

PHOENIX — Mesa shoppers hoping for shirts, diapers and other goods last Tuesday found smoky aisles and burnt merchandise in the Target near Southern Avenue and Longmore Street.

That’s because an arsonist caused $5 million’s worth of damage, according to Mesa Police Department.

Mesa police officers arrived at the 1230 South Longmore store at around 10 p.m.

“Officers ran inside the store with a fire extinguisher, yelling to make sure no one else was inside,” a department blog post said.

The smoke was too strong, so the officers had to initially retreat and call for help from the Mesa Fire Department.

“In a joint investigation with Mesa Fire, officers learned that two separate fires were started inside the store: one in the baby diaper aisle and the other, a piece of clothing on the floor,” according to police.

Between the toxic smoke infecting the merchandise and sprinklers inflicting water damage, the fire damaged everything in the store, officials said.

The Target arson suspect wasn’t on the scene

Surveillance video helped officers identify the suspect, 31-year-old Daniel Hull.

Security cameras showed him shopping and placing items into a cart. He picked up a shirt that looked like a burnt article of clothing officers later found at the scene.

“He hastily moves from the area, toward electronics as smoke is starting to invade the store,” police said. “The man watches the fire grow and then attempts to break into a case of cell phones with a hammer but is unsuccessful.”

After his robbery attempt crashed and burned, Hull allegedly looked for easier goods to snatch. As one of the last people to leave the store, he took several items into his black sedan, police said.

As luck would have it, police didn’t have to launch an investigation. They already had him in police custody on an unrelated charge.

Hull later admitted to starting the fire, police said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Split panel of a man and two children responding to fireworks on the left, and a fireworks display ...

Kevin Stone

Ooh, ahh: Phoenix launches fireworks show season this weekend with After Dark in the Park

The 2024 Phoenix fireworks show season launches this weekend with After Dark in the Park, the first of three city celebrations.

29 minutes ago

Stage 2 level fire restrictions soon to be set in place in Arizona...

Serena O'Sullivan

Multiple Arizona recreation areas implementing Stage 2 fire restrictions

Authorities will implement Stage 2 level fire restrictions for various areas in northern Arizona starting at 8 a.m. on Friday.

2 hours ago


KTAR Video

Video: Maricopa County Attorney on elder abuse, update on ‘Gilbert Goon’ suspect arrest after sentence

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell joins Arizona’s Morning News to talk about efforts to stop elder abuse. She also says her office will petition to revoke probation after a suspected member of the Gilbert Goons, Jacob Pennington, was arrested on alcohol charges shortly after being sentenced in two separate assault cases. Video: Jeremy Schnell and […]

3 hours ago

Superstition Downtown in Phoenix is closing its doors Sunday...

Serena O'Sullivan

Popular bar, restaurant in downtown Phoenix known for its flavorful mead will shut down this week

Superstition Meadery, a bar and restaurant that serves flavorful varieties of mead, is closing its Phoenix location.

4 hours ago

A headshot of fallen Scottsdale Police Detective Ryan So overlayed on a partial map of the processi...

Funeral, procession set for fallen Scottsdale Police Detective Ryan So

Fallen Scottsdale Police Detective Ryan So will be honored Thursday morning with a procession through the city following funeral services.

5 hours ago

Center helps people with autism find jobs with business experience...

Serena O'Sullivan

New business center in Phoenix helps students, adults with autism learn job skills

Diana Diaz-Harrison with Arizona Autism Charter Schools said the business programs at a new center will help people with autism find jobs.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Mesa police arrest arson suspect after fiery $5 million Target rampage