Vigil held for Manhattan Beach firebombing victims

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Hundreds gathered in Manhattan Beach Friday night, lighting candles and showing support for the victims who had their home firebombed.

"This is not what our community is all about and we're going to get the person who did this," Manhattan Beach Mayor Wayne Powell said.

"It was just amazing to see the turnout," victim Ronald Clinton said.

On Wednesday, Clinton woke up to two fiery explosions at their front door, and the smell of gasoline on what looked like a flaming tire.

Was it a hate crime? There was no written note from the arsonist telling the black family to move out of the neighborhood of multi-million dollar homes. But to the couple with three children in bed that night, the motive was clear.

"Your family and your kids are threatened, your lives are threatened. To me, you don't have to write it out on a piece of paper or a house to indicate that," Clinton said.

The FBI has offered its assistance. The ATF has been notified. The Clintons say they have previously found trash and drug paraphernalia dumped at their door. They say they have no enemies.

Ronald Clinton is pharmacist. His wife Malissia Clinton is a corporate lawyer. They have lived in Manhattan Beach for years.

"The first thing Ron said is, 'Maybe we gotta move. Maybe there's no support here. Maybe this is not safe. I can't have this happen to you guys again,'" Malissia Clinton said.

On Friday, along with investigators, the victims are asking for surveillance video or tips about any suspicious activity around 2 a.m. Wednesday.

In the meantime, they are fixing the fire damage, estimated at $200,000. The Clintons say they won't move, especially after supporters have raised thousands of dollars for a reward fund.

"We don't think that the community is racist. We think an individual or individuals are racist," Malissia Clinton said.

If you'd like to donate to the reward fund, visit

Anyone with further information was urged to contact Fire Investigator Mike Murrey at (310) 345-0467.

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