Two people have been arrested on suspicion of launching Molotov cocktails at an Antioch house, and painting N----- and a Swastika on its exterior, to target one of its inhabitants, police said Tuesday.
Investigators identified the suspects as 25-year-old Christyne Gail McDaniel of Brentwood and 27-year-old Roy Charles Sorvari of Antioch, according to the city's Police Chief Allan Cantando. They were arrested Thursday, the day after the attack.
Another person who hasn't yet been arrested may have also been involved, police said, declining to divulge further details.
"This was an ongoing dispute between a relative of McDaniel and a resident that lived within the house," Cantando said. "It was not a random incident."
Details of the feud remain unclear, but police said the resident in question is Lloyd Shackleford.
Authorities say McDaniel and Sorvari intentionally started a fire that they hoped would trap Shackleford, his mother, his sister and her four children — all of whom were sleeping — inside the burning house. Grainy surveillance video shows the attack unfold in the cloak of darkness.
"We saw him light three bottles right there on the sidewalk and proceed to throw them at the house," Shackleford's mother Roshon Williams said in an earlier interview.
No one was injured, but court documents show that the suspects began plotting the crime at least a week before the hateful vandalism.
Cell phone records Sorvari texted McDaniel on Sept. 1.
"I have a rope and you got the tree," he wrote.
"I've got the cross and some matches," she replied.
"Darn right, wanna torture a [N-----] with me," Sorvari continued.
The Contra Costa County District Attorney's office has charged the duo on several counts, including arson, mayhem, torture, conspiracy to commit murder, and assault with a deadly weapon. They have also been slapped with hate crimes enhancements, and are being held on $1,290,000 bail, police said.
If Shackleford's sister hadn't woken up and alerted the family about the blaze, the vandalism could have had deadly results, police said.
Victoria Adams, president of the East Bay branch of the NAACP, said on Tuesday that hate cannot be tolerated.
"I don’t know why they did what they did, however, it's an act of hate so it is not acceptable," she said.
Antioch resident Roger Martin was equally enraged.
"Of course I was upset. They are friends," he said.
Having seen the Williams' house defaced with Swastikas and N-----, Martin said he hoped the family would continue to live in the neighborhood.
"They are good people," he said. "We like them. We hope they stay. We hope they don’t feel threatened."
People with information about the case are asked to call the Antioch Police Department's Investigations Bureau at (925) 779-6933 or text a tip to 274637, using the word Antioch.
NBC Bay Area's Rhea Mahbubani contributed to this report.