Friday, July 25, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 8 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Police: Man who set himself ablaze on Mall dies

By Eric Tucker

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:27 p.m. HST, Oct 05, 2013

WASHINGTON » A man who set himself on fire on the National Mall in the U.S. capital has died of his injuries, which were so severe that authorities will have to use DNA and dental records to identify him, District of Columbia police said today.

The man died Friday night at a Washington hospital where he had been airlifted, Officer Araz Alali, a police spokesman, said.

The man poured the contents of a red canister of gasoline on himself in the center portion of the mall Friday afternoon. He then set himself on fire, with passing joggers taking off their shirts to help put out the flames. Police had said he was conscious and breathing at the scene, but he was airlifted to MedStar Washington Hospital Center with life-threatening injuries.

Police are investigating the man's possible motives. Lt. Pamela Smith of the U.S. Park Police said Friday she was not aware that he had carried any signs with him or had articulated a cause.

One witness, Katy Scheflen, said she did not hear the man say anything intelligible before he set himself on fire. But she said she did notice that another man with a tripod was standing nearby and had disappeared by the time the police had arrived. It was not immediately clear whether a recording exists.

"He appeared to be waiting for something to happen. After it happened, he was gone," Scheflen, a Justice Department lawyer, said today of the man with the tripod.

"I can't say what the connection was between them or whether there was a connection," she added.

The fire occurred in a city with jangled nerves following a Sept. 16 mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard that left 13 dead, including the gunman, and a high-speed car chase outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. The chase ended with a woman being shot dead by police with a young child in the car.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 8 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
Ratrase wrote:
It's like the monks burning themselves up in Vietnam during the war. Two tragic deaths in two days post shutdown.
on October 5,2013 | 08:12AM
redneckMT wrote:
Really, you are going to blame this on the shut-down?
on October 5,2013 | 08:51AM
Grimbold wrote:
Those who set themselves ablaze want to die. Don't stand in their way.
on October 5,2013 | 08:19AM
allie wrote:
The entire country seems weird right now
on October 5,2013 | 08:51AM
Thats like the Pot calling the Kettle black. LOL
on October 5,2013 | 12:53PM
SteveToo wrote:
S-T-U-P-I-D No one really cares.
on October 5,2013 | 09:53AM
sailfish1 wrote:
Was it Cruz?
on October 5,2013 | 11:52AM
false wrote:
Karma for ignoring the no smoking ban.
on October 5,2013 | 03:13PM
Breaking News