Texas officials name suspect arrested and charged in arson that killed 5 in San Marcos in 2018

Jul 6, 2023, 9:06 AM | Updated: 11:34 am

SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) —

Officials in San Marcos, Texas, have named the man charged with intentionally starting a fire five years ago which killed five people and displaced 200 others.

Jacobe De Leon O Shea Ferguson, of Austin, was arrested early Wednesday, Jonathan Henderson, Fire Marshal for the San Marcos Fire Department announced in a news conference Thursday.

Ferguson was a student at Texas State University in San Marcos at the time of the fire, Henderson said.

Ferguson is accused of setting the July 20, 2018, blaze which damaged the Iconic Village and Vintage Pads apartments in San Marcos, a city of almost 70,000 people southwest of Austin.

Ferguson didn’t live in the building where the fire happened, Henderson said. He and other officials declined to say where Ferguson did live at the time.

They also declined to comment on any suspected motive.

No attorney was immediately listed for Ferguson in Hays County records.

People who lost loved ones in the fire and those who still bear injuries have known since late 2018 that the fire was set on purpose. Federal officials determined it was arson, and the five deaths were ruled homicides.

Brian Frizzell, whose 19-year-old daughter died in the fire, thanked authorities for not giving up on the case.

“We are thankful this day has finally come,” Frizzell said at the news conference.

Ferguson is being held at the Hays County Jail on one count of arson causing bodily injury or death, a first degree felony which is punishable with up to life in prison.

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Texas officials name suspect arrested and charged in arson that killed 5 in San Marcos in 2018