1500 Park Avenue suspected arson case under investigation

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1500 Park Avenue was the site of a possible arson on October 6th. Photo by Kathyrn Hoffland.

Suspect faces two counts of second degree murder  

Further investigation into the Oct. 6 apartment fire at 1500 Park Avenue is being done by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, Minneapolis Police and the State Fire Marshall is taking place.

Arson is the suspected cause of the fire and the suspect, Marcus Dewayne Shanks, is facing two counts of second degree murder. 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.  

Vickie Lee Ness, age 59, also jumped from the apartment window to escape the flames. Ness was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center in critical condition following the fire. Ness died from multisystem organ failure complicating management of thermal and blunt force injuries on Oct. 27 according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.  

Shanks has been charged with two counts of second degree murder, arson and a count of murder, according to the criminal charge records for Hennepin County, Minnesota. He is currently in custody with $1,000,000 as his bail.


About the author: Grace Lindberg