Suspect in custody in alleged arson at Wendy's where Rayshard Brooks was killed

A white police officer fatally shot Brooks, a Black man, in the parking lot after officers responded to a call about a man asleep in his car.

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By Doha Madani

A woman was in custody Tuesday in connection with allegations of arson after the Wendy's restaurant in Atlanta where Rayshard Brooks was killed went up in flames.

Natalie White, 29, was wanted after the Wendy's was set alight on June 13, the day after Brooks died, according to the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. White was taken into custody Tuesday by the Fulton County sheriff's fugitive unit.

White's attorney, Drew Findling, confirmed to NBC News that she surrendered herself to authorities Tuesday and is currently in custody.

"She’s not the person that started the fire," Findling said.

Findling also confirmed that she is the same Natalie White that Brooks mentioned to officers in body camera footage from the night of his arrest, but did not confirm the nature of their relationship.

Brooks, a Black man, was fatally shot by a white Atlanta police officer in the Wendy's parking lot after officers responded to a call about a man who was asleep in his car, obstructing the drive-thru lane. Authorities said Brooks, who failed a field sobriety test at the Wendy's, was also wanted on suspicion of DUI.

Many people were incensed over Brooks' death, especially in the wake of the recent police-involved deaths of other Black Americans, including George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky.

Authorities identified Natalie White as a suspect in the arson fire that burned down a Wendy's restaurant in Atlanta on June 13.Atlanta Fire Rescue / via Twitter

The fire occurred on a night when protests were underway in the Atlanta area, NBC affiliate WXIA reported. The Wendy's, which was engulfed in flames by about 10 p.m., was destroyed.

Body and dash-camera video showed Brooks speaking with Atlanta police Officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan for about 25 minutes on the night of June 12. According to the video, Brooks told the officers that he had visited his mother's gravesite earlier in the day and had gone out drinking with a friend, who dropped him off at Wendy's because he was hungry.

Brooks resisted as the officers tried to arrest him, and they then struggled, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating the shooting.

Brooks was able to get one of the officer's stun guns, and video showed him appearing to run away with it, GBI Director Vic Reynolds said after the arrest.

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Rolfe was fired within 24 hours on the same day Police Chief Erika Shields resigned over the incident. Brosnan, who did not use his gun, was placed on administrative leave.

Rolfe faces charges that include felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, criminal damage to property and violation of oath. Brosnan was charged with one count of aggravated assault and two counts of violation of oath.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced the charges last week, saying Brooks "never presented himself as a threat" and appeared "almost jovial."

An attorney for Rolfe has said that the former officer feared for his life, as well as the lives of others in the parking lot, and that the shooting was justified. Attorneys for Brosnan said he officer did not know that Rolfe was going to arrest Brooks.