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Documents: Man likely set on fire for owing money in a drug deal, probable suspect identified

The probable suspect in this case is described as an approximately 34-year-old white man with a shaved head and star tattoo under his eye.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Warning: The following story contains graphic details from court documents. Reader discretion is advised.

Newly released court documents detail the events leading up to the incident where a man, Steven Maupin-Bureau, was set on fire in northeast Spokane.

The fire burned over 30% of Steven's body. After being transported to Providence Holy Family Hospital, he was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment.

According to the documents, a review of video surveillance has led law enforcement to a probable suspect, described as an approximately 34-year-old white man with a shaved head and a star tattoo under his eye. He is being charged with first-degree assault and first-degree arson. This suspect was previously arrested for a drive-by shooting in November 2019.

The cause of the incident appears to be tied to a drug deal, as documents reveal that Steven owed money to many dealers and was also involved in property crimes. According to a witness who called 911 prior to the burning, Steven had called her earlier in the day begging for money.

Another witness to the incident said she was walking to a friend's house to retrieve a purse that she had forgotten. Experiencing car trouble, the witness said she left the vehicle with the mother of Steven's girlfriend in case it could run again. 

The witness then reached a double-wide trailer with several vehicles and a travel trailer parked out front at 3628 E. Princeton Ave. At that time, the witness observed Steven exit the trailer's front door suffering from burns.

Documents said that Steven was screaming for help and his skin was black/grey and peeling off his body. As the mother arrived with the vehicle, she observed someone trying to extinguish Steven with a hose.

After loading Steven into the car, the mother drove him to Providence Holy Family Hospital. Steven was screaming and still suffering from burns when he arrived. According to documents, officers then collected Steven's clothing, which reportedly smelled of gasoline or kerosene. 

SPD said Major Crimes is actively investigating the incident and working to determine if other people were involved. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233. 

This is an ongoing news story and we will provide more updates as we receive them.

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