• Investigators find Molotov cocktail inside burned student's apartment

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Friends say a Georgia Tech graduate student is in critical condition after an apartment fire off 10th Street in midtown.
     
    Atlanta police told Channel 2’s Erica Byfield that Saamar Akhshabi was burned from an incendiary device in the incident.
     
    WSBTV.com reported the explosion as breaking news Tuesday just after 8:30 p.m. When investigators arrived on scene they found the international student with severe burns to his hands, arms and chest.
     
    Inside Akhshabi’s apartment, investigators said they found a Molotov cocktail and several plastic bottles with flammable liquid inside.
     
    Neighbors did not want to say much about the Georgia Tech grad student.
     
    “From what I hear he was a very nice, quiet young man. That’s all I know,” one neighbor told Byfield.
     
    Byfield searched for Akhshabi on the school’s website and found a picture of him. 
     
    A Tech representative confirmed Akhshabi is studying computer science at the university.
     
    On Channel 2 Action News This Morning we showed you the charred mattress, lighter fluid and shoe we found near a dumpster at the apartment.
     
    We now also have a clearer timeline about the incident.
     
    Atlanta fire responded to Akhshabi’s apartment just after 4 p.m. Tuesday. Firefighters quickly put out the fire and found Akhshabi inside.
     
    Authorities said he had third-degree burns on 90 percent of his body.
     
    Next officers discovered what appeared to be a Molotov cocktail and water bottles full of what they later learned was gasoline and kerosene.
     
    The FBI is now heading up the investigation.
     
    “I hope the person makes it through and I hope we get to the bottom of this,” neighbor Joe Brock told Byfield.  “Obviously for investigative purposes he would be best to explain what happened if possible.”

    Akhshabi is scheduled to graduate from Tech in May.


    Next Up: