Suspect accused of lighting man on fire tells FOX 12 he is conce - KPTV - FOX 12

Suspect accused of lighting man on fire tells FOX 12 he is concerned for victim's family

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FOX 12 sat down Friday night with the man accused of lighting a stranger on fire at a Denny’s in Happy Valley.

Deshaun Swanger, 24, is now in custody and facing a charge of attempted aggravated murder.

Swanger, wearing a suicide-prevention vest, told FOX 12 he wanted to share his side of the story. He understands that everyone has a lot of questions, but then said he changed his mind, about talking and wanted a lawyer present.

However, when the Swanger heard that FOX 12 had spoken with the family of attack victim Scott Ranstrom, he said he was shocked and showed concern, immediately asking how the family was holding up.

No one was at the Ranstrom home Friday evening, but a neighbor, Navy Kaiser, asked the question that everyone wants to know.

“Why? What would make someone snap like that?” he asked. “Just come into a Denny’s and light someone on fire. I mean, was there signs, could he have gotten help?”

Investigators believe Swanger walked into a Denny's in Happy Valley then doused Ranstrom, a stranger, with gasoline and lighting him on fire.

“Was he taking meds? Did he stop taking meds?” Kaiser wondered. “You don’t just wake up one day and say you’re going to light someone on fire. There’s got to be an underlying issue.”

Ranstrom is now fighting for his life, and his sister told FOX 12 he is almost unrecognizable.

“He’s in horrible shape,” she said. “He doesn’t even look like him. His face is out to here, his lips are out to here."

Deputies arrested Swanger at a transitional house less than a half-mile from the Denny's where the attack happened. With him in custody, some like Kaiser say justice is one step closer.

“It’s sad. Hopefully, justice comes to him, and peace comes to that family the victim.”

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