RFD: City’s 80th homicide victim previously escaped deadly 2012 Grape Street arson, arrest made

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — 25-year-old Waltequaries Evans became the 80th homicide victim of 2021 when he was shot and killed near a playground Sunday night, but before that, firefighters say he survived a tragic fire that killed four children nearly a decade ago.

The Rochester Fire Department Tuesday said Evans was just 15 years old when he was one of a few people who escaped the deadly arson at a home on Grape Street on Feb.18, 2012.

The fire, which was intentionally set by Bobbie Kugler, killed Greg Kugler, Kaiden Kugler, Gage Reavey, and Kandee Kugler. RFD says Evans suffered second and third-degree burns to both arms and ears while escaping the stairway of the home.

Kugler admitted to lighting pictures of her ex-boyfriend on fire and throwing them on a dresser full of combustible materials. She was sentenced to prison time and was released in 2018 after serving six years behind bars.

Back to Sunday night, police say Evans got into an argument with an unknown individual near the playground of School #17 on Orchard Street when he was shot.

Tuesday night police announced they arrested 21-year-old Derrick Gunter, who is originally from Rochester but currently resides in Florida, and charged him with second degree murder and second degree criminal possession of a weapon.

He is scheduled to be arraigned in Rochester City Court on Wednesday.