Two burned in bizarre attack

March 11, 2009 4:42:37 PM PDT
Police are trying to figure out how two people got burned in northeast Houston. It happened just after noon at an apartment complex on Pannell near Liberty. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Investigators say someone threw a flammable liquid at two people inside what police are calling a boarding house. It's unclear what sparked that liquid ultimately, but officials tell us two people were burned -- one over much of his body.

Police say they have a person they are talking to. They are not classifying this individual as a suspect or even a person of interest, though he has been in the back of a police vehicle for much of the afternoon. We saw a crime scene investigator taking pictures of this man's hands. He has not been arrested.

Police got a 911 call at about noon. One eyewitness describes the gruesome scene she stumbled upon when she first found one of the victims inside the building.

"He looked real bad," recalled eyewitness Michelle Lavergne. "His skin was all off his face and his body. You could see the redness of his hands (along the palms and up the arms.) It was just gone off."

Investigators don't know or won't say what led to this attack. They can't say what the flammable liquid was that was thrown on the victims, though they do tell us they smelled what they think might have been gasoline.

We don't know how the victims are doing. Both were rushed to the hospital. We spoke to one person who told us he is a family member of the more badly burned man. He said he's not sure if his relative will survive.

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