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Posted on: September 19, 2018

FMPD Arrests Arson Suspect of Evans Avenue Fire


On September 18, 2018 at approximately 3:30 p.m., the Fort Myers Police Department received a call in reference to a female that had been set on fire. Officers responded to the scene, 2922 Evans Avenue to find Thelma Shelby had suffered burns to various areas on her body and had her transported to Lee Memorial Hospital.  

Shelby’s daughter, Jennifer Cason, was on scene and stated that the suspect Terry Palmer (date of birth 11/20/1978), had argued with her earlier, left and returned with a jug of flammable liquid to try and set her house on fire. In the process of Palmer set his shirt on fire, turned to whisk away the flames, tossing the jug and caught Shelby’s clothing on fire. 

Palmer fled the scene but was later arrested at 2156 Franklin Street, taken to Lee Memorial Hospital for treatment to his burns and then arrested and charged with arson in the first degree and arson causing great bodily harm. 

The victim Thelma Shelby has since been transferred to the Tampa Hospital Burn Unit in critical condition. 

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