A Marietta man has been charged with aggravated assault with intent to murder after police say he tried to set another person on fire at a parking lot outside a MUST Ministries shelter.

Police say Willie Porter, 50, doused another man with “a Powerade bottle full of gasoline” outside the shelter before attempting to ignite the gas with a lighter between 11 a.m. and noon on Wednesday, Aug. 25. The address where the incident occurred matches that of the Elizabeth Inn homeless shelter run by MUST Ministries, at 55 Elizabeth Church Road. Cobb jail records also list the shelter as Porter’s address.

Porter’s arrest warrant states police had to take the lighter from Porter and wrestle him to the ground as he continued to ignite the gas he’d poured over the other man’s head.

“(Porter) admitted to attempting to set said victim on fire, stating, ‘I was going to kill him, I won’t lie,’” the warrant reads.

In addition to the felony charge of aggravated assault, Porter faces a felony charge of terroristic threats and a misdemeanor charge of obstructing an officer. He remains in the Cobb jail without bond, jail records show.

The “unfortunate incident” began off the Elizabeth Inn campus, but carried over into the parking lot, according to Milton Beck, senior director of security at MUST Ministries.

Beck said an off-duty police officer was on the scene and “quickly intervened before anyone was seriously harmed.”

Beck said the officer “worked hard to de-escalate the situation before taking the individual into custody.”

“We are thankful the subject was taken into custody without further incident,” he said. “MUST is dedicated to a safe and secure campus, protecting our clients, staff and volunteers.”

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Follow Thomas Hartwell on Twitter at twitter.com/MDJThomas.


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James Moonshower


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