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Gerald Dumas, 47, died Monday after being set on fire about two weeks earlier. ((Photo submitted by family))



Winnipeg police have rearrested a young man accused of attacking and setting a man on fire and have charged him with second-degree murder.

News of the upgraded charge comes one day after the family of Gerald Dumas, 47, announced that he had died in hospital.

He had been there in critical condition since the night of Sept. 10, when police officers found him on fire in a back lane in the 500 block of Selkirk Avenue.

Gaston Leroy Genaille, 19, remains in custody at the Winnipeg Remand Centre.

'I can't imagine the grief that Dumas's family is feeling right now.' —Const. Natalie Aitken

Genaille was arrested hours after the attack as a prime suspect in the case.

Police said on Tuesday that Manitoba Justice authorized the murder charge after learning of Dumas's death.

Police have previously said Dumas was attacked and set alight with an undisclosed liquid the suspect found on the victim. He suffered massive burns over much of his body.

Police allege that Genaille was breaching probation and was wanted on warrants at the time of his arrest in connection to the attack.

Police empathized with Dumas's family Tuesday about what happened to him.

"I can't imagine the grief that Dumas's family is feeling right now," said spokeswoman Const. Natalie Aitken.

Family beset by tragedy

The sudden and violent death of Dumas marks the third for his family in about five years. His nephew, Matthew was shot and killed by police on Dufferin Avenue in 2005. Another relative was shot and killed the next year at a city housing complex.

"It just seems to us that it's just too often to have something so tragic happen," Jessica Dumas said. She was with her uncle Monday when he died.

The family have described Dumas as a non-aggressive and gentle man.

"He's just like a funny guy. He was always just being silly and he's just a good guy," Jessica said.

She said the entire family is pleased to hear charges against the suspect have been upgraded.

With files from the CBC's Wab Kinew