No arrests yet after Molotov cocktails thrown into pro-life group’s Madison office

MADISON, Wis. — Local and federal law enforcement officials continue to investigate after two Molotov cocktails were thrown into the office of a pro-life group on Madison’s north side over the weekend.

The fire happened around 6 a.m. at the offices of Wisconsin Family Action in the 2800 block of International Avenue.

During a news conference Monday afternoon, Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes said officers collected multiple pieces of evidence from the scene and have sent them to their federal partners to be processed.

No arrests have been made, Barnes said. He added there is no information to suggest the incident was an “inside job.”

“There’s always going to be conspiracy theories around these things, but I can tell you there’s no place in Madison or anywhere else for this, because it could have gone differently if someone was there. So no, I don’t have any information that’s true at all,” Barnes said.

RELATED: Madison police, fire department say fire at Wisconsin Family Action office was arson

The chief also said while he understands emotions are high a week after a leaked draft indicated the U.S. Supreme Court may be poised to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion, there is “no room for hate or violence in Madison.”

“There’s no place in Madison for any type of hate speech, for any type of violence or any type of property destruction to advance any cause,” Barnes said. “If you’re thinking about doing something like that, I would recommend that you not. It doesn’t look good for your cause, it doesn’t look good for our community.”

Speaking to News 3 Now on Sunday, WFA President Julaine Appling said that someone had thrown Molotov cocktails into her office and had burned books. Appling said she did not know the person who would have lit the fire, but said the suspect “left their signature” with graffiti.

“Molotov cocktails… kind of ratchet up the issue,” she said in a subsequent interview Monday evening. “Those are things that happen in wars, not usually thrown into office windows.”

Appling is working to make sure her staff members are handling the incident as best as they can while holding out hope that whoever is responsible is caught.

“Swift Justice. I hope that becomes a reality,” she said.

Earlier Monday, Gov. Tony Evers called for those involved in the arson to be arrested.

RELATED: Evers calls for arrests in suspected arson at anti-abortion office

Police are asking anyone with information to call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.