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Police: Victim in Taco Bell attack was targeted, suffered third degree burns to 25% of body

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Posted at 3:44 PM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 15:48:41-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A police summary reveals what led to an attack at a Tallahassee Taco Bell where an employee was set on fire.

Around 6:19 p.m., about 15 minutes before the fiery attack at the Taco Bell on South Monroe Street Wednesday evening, a police summary says employees called police about Mia Williams trespassing the property.

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According to the summary, the caller told dispatch that Williams was acting "erratically," jumped over the employee counter and flicked the lights on and off before running away from the business. Williams had already been given a trespass warning on July 22, 2019 for causing a scene and disturbing patrons.

At 6:35 p.m., dispatch got another call. This time, the caller reported that Williams had poured gasoline on an employee and lit the employee on fire. Two minutes later, police arrived to the restaurant.

Due to the victim's burns, she was air-lifted to Shands Burn Center in Gainesville. Documents say the victim suffered third degree burns to 25 percent of her body.

When officers reviewed surveillance footage at the nearby Circle K gas station, Williams could be seen buying a small amount of gasoline, carrying with her a water bottle.

Officers also looked at surveillance footage taken from inside the Taco Bell. In the video, Williams could be seen walking into the restaurant around 6:32 p.m. with that same water bottle.

Witnesses said that Williams said, "where's that b---h,' seemingly referring to the victim, and walked behind the counter into the kitchen area. After finding the victim, documents say Williams quickly moved toward her, video showing a large fire engulfing the area.

Documents say Williams could then be seen jumping over the counter and running out of the business, the suspect's clothes appearing to be on fire.

When officers investigated the scene, they found the water bottle had been left on the counter and determined that Williams used the bottle to carry the gasoline over to the restaurant.

"Based on interviews, officers determined [the victim] poured water on the suspect after [Williams] initially refused to leave and jumped the counter into the employee area," the document reads. "It is believed this action caused the suspect to target the victim ..."

One of the witnesses also told officers the suspect appeared proud of her actions as she fled from the business.

Williams was taken into custody early Thursday morning, but not before she tried to stab officers with a pair of scissors. A judge has ordered that she be held in jail without bond.