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Man allegedly sets 7-Eleven customer on fire; police seek motive

April 14, 2013|By Hector Becerra
  • Fire outside 7-Eleven in Long Beach Friday.
Fire outside 7-Eleven in Long Beach Friday. (KTLA News )

Long Beach police are searching for a motive after a homeless man allegedly set a 62-year-old man on fire in his sport utility vehicle.

Raymond Sean Clark, 38, is accused of dousing the victim with a flammable substance while he was parked in front of a 7-Eleven store about 5 p.m. Friday, Long Beach police Sgt. Aaron Eaton told The Times.

Eaton said a detective told him that a motive had not yet been established. There were reports that there had been an argument between Clark and the victim just before the attack, but Eaton said that had not been confirmed.

"We still have no information they knew each other or that anything had happened in the past," he said. "This is more or less an isolated incident."

The attack happened at the intersection of Clark Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway. Police say witnesses  rushed to the victim's aid, but not before he was critically injured with burns over most of his body.

Police arrested Clark around the corner from where the attack took place.

Witness Robert Linkroum told the Beachcomber newspaper in Long Beach that he was inside the store when he saw a man throw something into the car window of the victim. The flames temporarily trapped he and others inside the 7-Eleven.

The Beachcomber also captured video of the fire.

Witness Shannon Flynn told the Long Beach Press-Telegram that the scene was horrifying. "He was engulfed in flames," she told the paper.

Eaton said Clark had two failure-to-appear warrants. Clark is being held on suspicion of attempted murder as well as on the two misdemeanor warrants.

Linkroum told the Press-Telegram that he looked up to see a man walking toward the victim's black Toyota 4-Runner and throwing what looked like a bottle into it.

"The vehicle went up in flames immediately, just totally engulfed. It was all flames," he said. "It became so hot in 7-Eleven that I moved towards the back of the store because I thought the windows were going to blow."


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