CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – Police in southeastern New Mexico are searching for two men who they say set a man on fire.
“It’s horrible,” said the victim’s grandma-in-law Yolanda Martinez. “You get chills just thinking anything like that can happen.”
Detectives say a 42-year-old man was watering his lawn at a home on the 1300 block of West Church around 10 o’clock Monday night when two men on bikes approached him.
“Two guys stop and yackity yack with him for a little while then all of a sudden they throw gas at him and the other one throws a cigarette on him,” said the victim’s grandpa-in-law Johnny Martinez.
The victim, who family members identify as Jimmy Gallegos, is a husband and a father.
“He’s in bad shape,” said Johnny. “All of his skin here was coming off the face, the hands.”
Martinez said Gallegos told him the men stopped and asked him for a drink of water. He said when Gallegos bent down to grab the hose for them they threw a flamable liquid and a lit cigarette on his body.
Police will not say if the incident was a random attack, but Gallegos’s family says they have no clue who would intentionally hurt him.
“It’s horrible just people that don’t care about anything or anyone,” said Yolanda.
The victim is being treated for severe burns to his upper body and chest at a Lubbock hospital.
Police are following up on leads.
Investigators only have said the suspects are two white males.