Man admits to setting nine fires in Albuquerque, faces up to 20 years

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The man who firebombed an Albuquerque Old Navy store last year admitted to it Wednesday, along with eight other fires set around the same time.

Wednesday morning in Federal Court, David Hickman pleaded guilty to five counts of damaging or destroying a building with explosives, but admitted to a total of nine arsons or attempted arsons.

The fires happened last November right around Thanksgiving between November 16 and November 26.

Hickman admitted to targeting four Starbucks locations, the Barnes & Noble at Coronado Mall, Project Defending Life on San Mateo, The Carlisle condos at Central and Carlisle, Shred-It on Broadway near Mountain, and finally, the Old Navy near San Mateo and I-40.

An Albuquerque Police officer saw Hickman running from the Old Navy just before it erupted into flames.

When Hickman was arrested, police found an AR-15, a flare and mason jars full of flammable liquids on him. They also found Tannerite, more ammunition for guns in his car, and a list with Old Navy and at least one other business that had been set on fire days earlier.

In his apartment, police say they found more evidence linking him to other fires. In his initial indictment, Hickman was only charged with that Old Navy fire, however.

Federal court documents say Hickman’s MO was to shoot out the windows or doors of the businesses he targeted, then set the place on fire. In the case of The Carlisle, he cut a chain link fence to access the building.

The question still lingering, though, is a motive. Hickman’s attorney would not comment Wednesday to KRQE News 13.

Rather than facing five to 20 years in prison for each count, under the deal, Hickman only faces up to 20 years in prison. He’s also agreed to pay restitution, should a judge order that during sentencing. His sentencing has also not been set, yet.

A manager of Shred-It told KRQE News 13 damages there totaled more than $100,000. The Carlisle damage totaled roughly $9 million. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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