Suspected arson at the 1500 Park Avenue apartments leaves one dead, others injured

One man died and another individual was critically injured from an apartment fire at 1500 Park Ave., Minneapolis Oct. 6. The suspect has been charged with murder and arson according to the criminal charge records for Hennepin County, Minnesota.

The Star Tribune reported that Royce Wayne James, age 59 jumped from the window of a third floor apartment to escape the fire. James died from multiple blunt force and thermal injuries according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner. A witness reported seeing the suspect, Marcus Dewayne Shanks, soaking the east stairwell of the building in lighter fluid around 10 p.m. Oct. 6.

A woman also jumped from a window and was listed in stable condition Saturday. Oct. 7 according to Pioneer Press.

On the Sunday following the fire, Fedderson Holdings, the owner of the apartment building, provided transportation and another building for residents to move to. Fedderson Holdings is honoring the rental prices of the 1500 building, according to the Star Tribune.

Further investigation is taking place.

Update: Vickie Lee Ness, 52, died from multisystem organ failure complicating management of thermal and blunt force injuries on Oct. 27 according to the Hennepin County Medial Examiner. Following her death Shanks is now facing two counts of second degree murder.

About the author: Grace Lindberg

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