Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said the fire erupted on a weekend when the store was full of shoppers and he was thankful that his office “is not prosecuting a multiple murder case today.”
“Miraculously no one was hurt," he said. “But it came close — far, far too close — to causing many injuries and deaths.”
Gogue allegedly stole items from a Bass Pro Shop before the fire, and he went on to steal from a Macy's store afterward, authorities said.
In addition to aggravated arson, he also is charged with grand theft and petty theft involving shoplifting at six South San Jose stores between last October and April 2.
The new theft charges span from October 2021 to April 2, involving $17,000 worth of items from six South San Jose retailers. He could face a potential life sentence if convicted of all charges, prosecutors said.