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Laneisha Shantrice Henderson: What we know about Martin Luther King Jr birth home suspect

Laneisha Shantrice Henderson
Laneisha Shantrice Henderson

Laneisha Shantrice Henderson has been identified as the suspect trying to set Martin Luther King Jr’s childhood home ablaze.

Laneisha Shantrice Henderson is a military veteran said to have mental health issues.

She is 26 years old.

What we know about the incident

Laneisha Shantrice Henderson is a military veteran

Laneisha Shantrice Henderson was seen pouring the contents of a five gallon gasoline container onto the wooden porch of the historic Atlanta home on Thursday.

In a clip of the incident, a witness twice asks: ‘What are you doing?’ 

The woman signals with her hand for him to leave her alone. ‘That’s gasoline,‘ he tells her.

Those witnesses later said that they stepped in when they saw her attempting to ignite a lighter on the lawn, The New York Times reported.

Eyewitness Zach Kempf, 43, who was visiting the federal landmark from Salt Lake City, stepped in after the woman walked to the front yard to get a lighter.

The woman was also seen trying to yank the screen door off the front of the property, which was built in 1895 and was MLK Jr’s home until he was 12.

Kempf said the woman had a ‘nervous energy’ about her, adding: ‘But she wasn’t aggressive.’

He added ‘Obviously, the house is so important, and I’m really glad nothing happened to it. But I feel like now I’m mostly just concerned for her well-being.’

The woman is then said to have relented in her attempts to burn the home and started to walk away.

Two cops visiting from New York restrained her, with another part of the video shared showing the woman with a knee on her back.

Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said the Good Samaritans had helped ‘save an important part of American history tonight.’

Shortly after her arrest, the woman’s father and sisters arrived at the scene.

They said that they had been trying to track her down because they were worried about her and found her through a tracking app on her phone.

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