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Long Beach police seek witnesses who saw man set on fire in SUV

April 15, 2013|By Robert J. Lopez
  • The SUV burns in Long Beach with a 63-year-old man trapped inside.
The SUV burns in Long Beach with a 63-year-old man trapped inside. (KTLA-TV Channel 5 )

Long Beach police Monday night were looking for at least three people who witnessed a 63-year-old man being set on fire last week as he sat inside his sport utility vehicle.

Jerry Payne was trapped inside his green SUV as flames quickly devoured the vehicle Friday evening. Payne died Monday morning, the Long Beach Police Department said.

Payne was alone in the SUV outside a 7-Eleven store in the 5100 block of Pacific Coast Highway when a man walked up to the driver's side and threw a flammable substance into the vehicle, which exploded into flames, police said. 

Some people rushed to help Payne, who lived in Long Beach.

Investigators are seeking additional witnesses.

"There are several witnesses to this horrific crime that have yet to come forward," police officials said in a statement.

Raymond Sean Clark, a 38-year-old homeless man, was arrested Friday night on suspicion of attempted murder and on two outstanding warrants. Authorities say that Clark is now a murder suspect and that they anticipate filing criminal charges this week with the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Scott Lasch or Det. Donald Goodman at (562) 570-7244.

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Twitter: @LAJourno | robert.lopez@latimes.com

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