KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knoxville Police Department, with the help of the Knox County Sheriff's Office, has identified the person who spray-painted an entire section of LGTBQ+ Pride merchandise at a Target in Turkey Creek.
Jonathan Burns, a 31-year-old, was arrested on a felony vandalism charge on Wednesday night at his West Knox home, according to KPD.
On June 13 at 2:49 p.m., Burns entered the Target on Parkside Drive and spray-painted an entire section of merchandise placed out for Pride Month, KPD said.
Burns damaged $3,884 worth of clothing, according to KPD. They also said he used red spray paint to destroy the entire section of items as well as a sign in the section, and it was the only section that was vandalized. The sign cost an additional $16 in damages.
An employee had approached Burns and asked him to leave, according to a KPD report.
When Burns left the Target, he dropped the spray paint can on the ground. Fingerprints on the can confirmed Burns's identity. Evidence of him purchasing the spray paint and a bucket hat from local retail prior to the incident was secured. Video from Target and the retailer where the paint and hat were purchased depicted Burns wearing the same clothing, the report said.
Target said Monday it has "no tolerance for this kind of behavior," saying it is working closely with KPD.
"Target is proud to support the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month and year-round. When an individual vandalized part of the Pride+ merchandise assortment at our Parkside Drive store in Knoxville earlier this month, our security team intervened immediately and engaged law enforcement. We have no tolerance for this kind of behavior and are working closely with the Knoxville Police Department on their investigation."