Marcos Uriel Lara Perez has been charged with two counts of capital murder and three counts of aggravated assault, authorities announced.
According to a press release from the Byram Police Department, officers and fire department personnel responded to a call about a structure fire about 7 p.m. Easter Sunday at a residence in the 700 block of Gary Drive, about 10 miles southwest of Jackson.
While firefighters were extinguishing the flames, they discovered the body of 77-year-old Filiberto Torres inside.
Authorities quickly located several individuals outside the home who suffered severe burns and were hospitalized. One suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Hose Thomas Segura Juarez, 45, was flown by helicopter to a trauma center for specialized treatment. He died two days after the fire, officials said.
Three of the other victims remained hospitalized as of Friday morning, police said.
A joint investigation between BPD and the District Fire Marshall determined the suspect “intentionally set” the fire.
Investigators allege Perez “threw a bucket of gasoline on all the victims in the kitchen area of the residence, then ignited the fire using a BIC cigarette lighter, thus causing the structure to completely engulf in flames.”
According to Jackson NBC affiliate WLBT, Perez allegedly started the fire after he and the victims, who all lived at the home, got into an argument that escalated. What the argument was about was not revealed.
Perez was also severely injured in the blaze, police say. As of Thursday, he was reportedly unconscious at a hospital in Alabama, WLBT reported, citing Byram Police Chief David Errington.
Errington described the scene as “honestly horrifying” and the “worst traumatic event he’d seen aside from a car wreck,” according to WLBT.
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