Man suspected of burning down Tennessee Planned Parenthood Clinic and shooting at federal building died months ago, officials say

A man accused of intentionally set fire to family planning clinic in Tennessee and later firing shots at a federal courthouse died months ago, officials said Monday, releasing both the man’s death and the allegations.

Federal court documents say the man, Mark Thomas Reno, 64, died on August 15. Yet numerous documents in his case have been sealed until this week, including records showing he was arrested in connection with the Planned parenthood criminal fire.

“The government investigation revealed that (Reno) engaged in a series of violent acts of property destruction in Knoxville since the beginning of 2021,” a newly unsealed complaint said.

The complaint says Reno fired a shotgun at the clinic’s doors in early 2021, shattering glass and leaving holes in the reception area. Reno then burned down the clinic in December 2021, the document says.

The building was vacant during the fire but had to be closed for months to undergo a $2.2 million renovation.

Other court documents show the FBI began surveillance of Reno in April this year after he told an undercover agent he belonged to a group with a mission to resist actions opposing Catholic orthodoxy. The agent was secretly recording Reno, who said his group had “many targets,” according to the documents.

Reno also told the undercover officer that he was at Riot at the United States Capitol in January 2021. The officer said authorities reviewed footage from the day and saw he was present, but there was no evidence he broke any laws.

In July, Reno was charged with shooting at a federal building in Knoxville and damaging three windows, according to court documents.

Court documents show Reno had been detained since July but was temporarily released for medical treatment in August. The cause of death was not immediately revealed.

“The man who was arrested in this case is not solely responsible,” Ashley Coffield, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, said in a statement. “When politicians use hateful rhetoric against abortion providers and support extreme laws, like the total abortion ban we have in Tennessee, it shouldn’t surprise us that some people think the violence in the real world is justified.”

Coffield and others criticized Republican Gov. Bill Lee of Tennessee for failing to condemn the attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic. Over the summer, the governor instead condemned vandalism at a crisis pregnancy center that aims to deter people from having abortions.

Tennessee is among several states that enacted so-called trigger laws banning nearly all abortions after the U.S. Supreme Court revoked the constitutional right to the procedure. By law, Planned Parenthood and other health clinics across the state have stopped offering abortions.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee said his office would have a statement on Tuesday.

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