Sister of homeless man who was killed when he was set on fire speaks out

The family of a homeless man in San Francisco who died after someone set his sleeping bag on fire is speaking out in hopes of getting justice for him.

The man's sister said she doesn't want anyone to experience the pain she and her family are struggling with.

Police are offering a new reward.

The sister is grateful for the help but says it won't bring her brother back.

She hoped what happened will encourage people to show compassion to the homeless.

There was a memorial for Luis Tamaj Tomas at his sister Marisol's home.

She said the horrific killing of her brother leaves a void that can not be filled.

With the help of an interpreter, she told KTVU her brother had been homeless for less than a year when someone set him on fire while he slept on the street.  

"He had a really good heart. He was a good man," said Marisol.

The attack happened on October 8 about 5 a.m. at the corner of 25th Street and South Van Ness in the Mission District,

Police said the 43-year-old managed to tell officers who responded to the scene that when he woke up, his sleeping bag was on fire.

Luis was taken to the hospital where he died of his injuries the next day.

"Sadness, anger, we don't know who did this," Marisol said her brother was an accountant in Guatemala when he immigrated to the United States 22 years ago.

In San Francisco, he worked as a baker, cook and dishwasher.

After losing his job, he eventually became homeless during the pandemic.

"You have this gut reaction to it, to think that someone would do this to another human being is really unthinkable," said Jennifer Friedenbach with the Coalition on Homelessness and that violence against unhoused people is common.  

"Luis is also a reminder that the overwhelming majority of homeless people in San Francisco became homeless as housed San Franciscans," said Friedenbach.  

Marisol said she doesn't have vengeance in her heart towards whoever's responsible, but does want justice for her brother.

"I don't wish them to suffer or anything bad to happen to them, said Marisol, "I don't want any other family to go through this." .

San Francisco police are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever's responsible for killing Luis.

Marisol said a family member offered to let Luis stay her home, but that he refused, not wanting to be a burden.