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Seattle man dies of injuries in Puerto Rico torch attack (Death Toll Now 4)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A fourth victim has died after police say a Puerto Rico man set his family on fire using gasoline and a torch.
Family members tell KING 5 News Jesus Sanchez, a Seattle resident, died Tuesday of injuries he sustained in the New Year's Day attack.
Just after 7 p.m. Tuesday night, a post went up on the Facebook page called "Support for Kate Donohue and Jesus Sanchez." It delivered the tragic news: "Jesus has passed away. He fought a long hard battle and is now with our father in heaven."
Family and friends are devastated. They've flown from Seattle and California to join Sanchez's family keeping vigil at the hospital.
Friends say Kate and Jesus's relationship was something to behold. "When I saw them together I saw them happy," says Henry Shim, a friend who lives next door to their home on lower Queen Anne. "They were perfect for each other."
The couple got engaged a few weeks ago. Their wedding was already planned at Seattle's Kerry park this summer.
"Their romance blossomed from I met you, I need you, I want you, to I love you," says Shim.
The two went to Puerto Rico so Kate could meet her fiance's family. No one could have imagined the horror that unfolded over a family dinner.
The blaze occurred Saturday in the central Puerto Rican mountain town of Florida, where suspect Justino Sanchez Diaz, 45, lives in a two-story house with his parents and a sister, police Lt. Reinaldo Jimenez said.
Sanchez Diaz had doused the walls of the house with gasoline and set canisters filled with fuel under the dining room table and other furniture, he said.
"He planned the party so that everyone would show up," Jimenez said.
As soon as the 14 people sat down for an early dinner on Jan. 1, Sanchez Diaz emerged from his room armed with a 20-pound container of propane gas and then doused them with kerosene, Jimenez said witnesses told police.
Sanchez Diaz then set them on fire using a stick wrapped with a towel soaked in fuel, Jimenez said.
Heidi Robles, identified as one of the suspect's nieces, told the newspaper Primera Hora that several relatives ran out of the house on fire and that neighbors used hoses to try to put out the flames.
"He is going to pay for this," she was quoted as saying.
Police and firefighters found Sanchez Diaz in a bathroom where he had filled the tub and sink with water, Jimenez said. Diaz was arrested.
Several family members were severely injured, and three other victims have died as a result of their injuries, including Sanchez Diaz's mother.
Sanchez Diaz was charged with murder in the attack.
Sanchez Diaz has had run-ins with his family in the past, and about five years ago he set fire to a hen house in the back of his brother's home, Jimenez said.
Since the blaze, Sanchez Diaz has refused to eat or talk about a possible motive, the police officer said.
"He has maintained total silence," Jimenez said.
Sanchez Diaz is an uncle of Jesus Sanchez.
Donohue is still in critical condition with burns on 80 percent of her body. She is reportedly strong enough to be flown to the University of Miami for further treatment.
Hundreds of supporters are now sending their prayers to her. Many replacing their profile picture with a photo of the couple, the words 'Lord hear our prayers' in the captions.
"You hate to see something so nasty happen to two such good people. Two nice people who have the biggest hearts you can imagine," says Shim.
Donohue's aunt has set up a fund to help pay for travel and medical bills. Anyone who would like to help can go to any Wells Fargo branch and give to account # 6174877891.


http://www.king5.com/news/local/Seattle-man-dies-from-injuries-in-Puerto-Rico-blowtorch-attack-112912304.html


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Added: Jan-5-2011 Occurred On: Jan-5-2011
By: Zipper10
In:
News
Tags: Puerto Rico, torch, attack, murder, family, members, gasoline, SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico
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