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Burned Homeless Man Was Trying To Settle Argument

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Joan-Murray-600x450 Joan Murray
CBS4 Reporter Joan Murray Joan Murray is a general assignmen...
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FORT LAUDERDALE – (CBS4) – The wife of a 51-year-old homeless man who was burned in a brutal attack after an argument with another man speaks is demanding justice.

William Stouffer was only trying to settle an argument. Meanwhile, police are on the hunt for the man who attacked him.

Kimberly Shawn said her husband William Stouffer was set on fire at around 4 a.m. Friday near their homeless camp. According to police the incident occurred during an altercation behind the Burger King at 2901 West Commercial Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.


“I’m angry,” Shawn said. “I’m very angry.”

Police said Stouffer had to be airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital after suffering serious burns to his body and is in critical condition.

The suspect accused of dousing an accelerant on Stouffer and lighting him on fire, however, remains at large and was identified as John Gibbons, 58.

gibbons burn suspect Burned Homeless Man Was Trying To Settle Argument

Police are looking for John Gibbons, shown here, in connection with the attack. (Source: CBS4)

Shawn told CBS4’s Joan Murray that her husband got into an altercation with Gibbons. But Stouffer invited Gibbons over to patch things up. That’s when she said Gibbons doused her husband with gasoline and set him on fire.

William Michael Stouffer

Police say William Michael Stouffer, shown here, was set on fire. (Source: Broward County Sheriff's Office)

“And then he comes walking back and all of a sudden there’s a burst of flames,” Shawn said. “Derek and I immediately got up out of our seats and went to get Bill and grabbed him and smothered the flames off of him. We didn’t see nobody.”

Shawn said her and her husband knew and respected the man.

She said after the attack she laid her husband down before he was taken to the hospital.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call Detective Almanazar at 954-828-5546 or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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