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Surveillance images show suspect wanted for setting homeless man on fire

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 5:52 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - New surveillance images show the person suspected of setting a homeless man on fire in Downtown Honolulu in a horrific attack that left the victim critically injured.

So far, police have made no arrests in the case.

The pictures show the victim had been attacked twice in the span of just a few hours.

The first time, the suspect wore a blue bandanna, black sleeves over his arms and in his left hand held what HPD sources say is a Molotov cocktail.

The images were captured about 3:15 a.m. Wednesday outside the See Dai Doo Building near Kukui and Fort Street.

A witness told HNN, the suspect threw the weapon at the victim but the man didn’t appear to be hurt.

Pictured are three surveillance photos from the first attack. The suspect wore a blue bandana,...
Pictured are three surveillance photos from the first attack. The suspect wore a blue bandana, black sleeves over his arms and in his left hand held what HPD sources say is a Molotov cocktail.(Hawaii News Now)

Then, just before 6 a.m., the sleeping victim was targeted again by someone with a similar build wearing different clothes. Pictures show him carrying a large cup with some sort of accelerant in one hand and a blowtorch in the other.

A woman who asked to have her identity concealed told HNN she couldn’t believe what she’d witnessed.

“I thought that it wasn’t real at first,” she said. “It took me a while to process. But of course immediately after that the flaming person was screaming and running around.”

The pictures show victim had been attacked twice in the span of just a few hours.
The pictures show victim had been attacked twice in the span of just a few hours.(Hawaii News Now)

HNN learned HPD has collected surveillance video from at least two buildings in the area where the attack happened. However, 36-hours later police haven’t released official images of the suspect and have refused to provide the public with any specific information about the crime.

“Every day in our community homeless people are victims of crimes,” said Jill Wright, community relations director for the Institute for Human Services.

She called Wednesday’s attack heartbreaking and added it reminds her of an unsolved crime that happened last July, in which a man asleep in a garbage bag in Kalihi was stabbed in the chest.

Wright says she wants to see the suspects in both cases locked up.

“The fact that this person is still out there with the potential to commit more crimes is really horrifying,” she said.

The identity of the victim hasn’t officially been released. HNN confirmed Thursday was his 40th birthday. At last check, he remains in Straub’s burn unit in critical condition.

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