Incident Summary:

12/15/2020: An assailant set two fires near the back door of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States. There were no reported casualties in the attack. Dushko Vulchev, an unaffiliated individual, was arrested and later indicted for this and two other attacks on the same predominately Black church in December 2020. Authorities stated that Vulchev had a history of expressing racial hatred towards Black people, including a message on his device stating "eliminate all N****s." His electronic devices also contained images of a "White Lives Matter" mural and an Adolf Hitler photo.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Religious Figures/Institutions
Name of Entity Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Presbyterian Church
Specific Description Church
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Unknown
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Incendiary Arson/Fire
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information The assailant targeted this church three separate times in December 2020 across incidents 202012130030, 202012150028, and 202012280022.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
White supremacists/nationalists No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 1
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Black leaders air fears following church fire," Springfield Republican (Massachusetts), January 1, 2021.
"Suspicious fire at Black church being investigated as arson by Massachusetts officials," The Hill, December 28, 2020.