A 39-year-old homeless man suffered life-threatening injuries after an unknown suspect poured an accelerant on him and ignited it while the victim was sleeping in the doorway of a building in downtown Honolulu early today, police said.
The suspect set the victim on fire in the doorway of a business building at 1300 Pali Highway near Longs Drugs at about 5:45 a.m., according to police.
“That guy was completely in flames. He was just screaming,” said a witness who declined to give her name. It happened so fast, she added. “It was shocking.”
The witness alerted a nearby police officer as the victim ran across the building in a panic and took off his jacket. Other witnesses were yelling to get water and instructing the man to drop and roll on the ground to put out the flames.
A black jacket was observed on the ground on the mauka side of the building.
Honolulu firefighters and Emergency Medical Services personnel also responded to the scene.
The victim sustained multiple second-degree and third-degree burns to his face, upper body and limbs. Police said he was taken in critical condition to a hospital.
Honolulu police have opened an attempted murder investigation. There are no arrests at this time.