Two homeless men have died and a third remains in critical condition

By Chris Harris
Updated July 06, 2016 01:45 PM
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Credit: San Diego Police Department

Police in San Diego are asking for the public’s assistance in tracking down a man they claim is burning and attacking homeless people as they sleep, PEOPLE confirms.

This week, authorities released surveillance footage that was shot inside a convenience store that shows a person of interest they’d like to question about the attacks.

Police believe the man in the video is behind the fire deaths of two homeless men.

A third victim is being treated in a nearby hospital for burns he’d sustained in a similar attack. His condition remains critical, according to a statement from police.

On Sunday morning, police received several 911 calls concerning a man on fire who was seen running down the train tracks that run parallel to Interstate 5, the police statement reads.

Detectives later found the charred remains of an individual who was so badly burned they couldn’t tell whether he had suffered any additional trauma prior to being set ablaze. The victim has not yet been identified.

Police claim that at around the same time, witnesses recounted seeing a man in his late 40s to early 50s running across the freeway with a gas can in hand.

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Two nearly identical attacks occurred early Monday morning, according to the police statement. Investigators located two victims in different locations with severe trauma and burns to the torso.

One of the two men died before police arrived, the statement claims. Police believe all three targets were sleeping when they were doused with fuel and lit.

The man wanted by police for questioning is described as a male ranging in age from 30- to 50-years-old. He’s been seen wearing a tan or brown jacket or sweatshirt.

The suspect was also seen donning a baseball cap and carrying a backpack.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the San Diego Police Dept. at 619-531-2346.