Toledo, OH – Witnesses said a mural memorializing George Floyd was reduced to rubble after being hit by a bolt of lightning on Tuesday.
A Toledo artist painted the mural on the side of the former Mugshots Bar located at Lagrange and Summit Streets in July of 2020, WTVG reported.
The Toledo Fire and Rescue Department (TRFD) responded to the scene of the collapse, where witnesses reported having watched a bolt of lightening hit the building, according to WZZM.
Doppler radar showed lightning did strike that block at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, WTVG reported.
The TFRD later confirmed the collapse was caused by a bolt of lightning, according to WZZM.
George Floyd mural in Toledo was struck by lighting causing it to burn…God was like, I got this one😂 pic.twitter.com/IDH4MfUT7L
— The Patriot Sisters (@patriot_sisters) July 14, 2021
Toledo Building Inspector Hugh Koogan said he recently noticed the center of the wall was bowing, WTVG reported.
“It was just age,” Koogan said. “It just came away.”
The building itself is still structurally sound, the building inspector said.
An old wall in Toledo, Ohio that was the site of a George Floyd mural collapsed and fell apart. pic.twitter.com/xNYkOi3zjo
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 14, 2021
The City of Toledo released a statement saying they are heartbroken over the collapse of the mural and that they will work to have a new George Floyd mural created, WTVG reported.
“The mural will be replaced,” Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz told WZZM on Wednesday. “We will work with the Arts Commission and the artist to make sure that a new mural can replace the old, so that the message at the core of this artwork can be heard.”
Artist David Ross, who painted the original mural, said he is looking forward to painting the new image and that he hopes it will be displayed in an area where even more people can see it.
NEW – George Floyd mural at Summit and Lagrange destroyed by a lightning strike. Doppler Radar did show a lightning strike in that block at about 4:30 PM. pic.twitter.com/myj7l541Lz
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) July 14, 2021
Ross said he is somewhat concerned that the painting was intentionally destroyed, according to FOX News.
“When I did the mural, there was stuff on the wall that I couldn’t remove and that let me know how strong that structure was,” he said. “The lightning thing, that’s possible, but I know it didn’t just fall.”
Kapszukiewicz also refused to confirm the cause of the collapse.
“We may never know for certainty why the George Floyd mural came down,” he said, according to USA Today. “It could have been an act of nature, or it could have been an act of vandalism.”