Blake Angerer has succumbed to the injuries he sustained when another man poured gasoline on him and lit him on fire while he was sleeping outside a Circle K convenience store in Glendale, Arizona, earlier this month.
Witnesses to the attack say that on July 3, Angerer was sleeping at a bus stop when Luciano Simmons, a 41-year-old homeless man who was also at the bus stop, allegedly walked over to the store, purchased a dollar’s worth of gasoline, filled a water bottle full of it, walked back to the bus stop, emptied the contents on Angerer, and then used a butane torch to set Angerer on fire.
Surveillance footage shows that Angerer, engulfed in flames, immediately began running about and asking for help from people in the store.
“A man came into our store in flames,” a Circle K employee told the 911 dispatcher at the time.
According to reports, employees and another bystander attempted to douse the flames with gallons of water from the store when emergency medical teams and police arrived. Angerer was transported to a nearby hospital with burns on 72% of his body. He fought for his life for weeks and died just recently. He was only 30 years old.
In a GoFundMe account established to help with medical expenses, older sister Riquida Angerer describes Blake as “a son, a father, a brother, a cousin, a friend, and all around a good looking and goofy charismatic man who really wanted to see the greatest parts of life.”
The GoFundMe message is also emphatic that this incident will not be Blake’s legacy. “[T]his is not HIS story,” the message insists.
Simmons was apprehended after a store clerk spotted him across the street that same night and identified him as the attacker. Simmons was originally charged with aggravated assault. It is not yet known whether these charges will be reassessed now that Angerer has passed.
Simmons has admitted to police that he was at the bus stop and that he had purchased gas at the Circle K, but has denied harming Angerer.
“He’s a big, little kid,” Riquida said about her brother before he died. “The one person I can’t picture my life without is him. I don’t want him to go.”