Man Who Set Himself On Fire Near White House Dies in Hospital

May 30, 2019 Updated: May 30, 2019

The Maryland man who set himself on fire on a lawn near the White House has died after suffering burns to 85 percent of his body.

U.S. Park police told the Associated Press reported that 33-year-old Arnav Gupta died in hospital late Wednesday, May 29, after earlier being transported there with life-threatening injuries.

Gupta lit himself on fire on Wednesday in a park about a mile away from the White House, said the U.S. Secret Service.

The Daily Mail reported Gupta stood upright for some time before officials reached him, claiming he was wearing a protective suit, possibly to prolong the shocking spectacle.

There was a suspicious package on fire near him which was also extinguished, according to TMZ.

Gupta had been reported missing by his family around the time that he was seen setting himself on fire at Ellipse Park.

Montgomery County, Maryland, police said earlier Wednesday that investigators were searching for Gupta and were concerned for his welfare. They said he was last seen alive that morning when he left his Bethesda-area home.

Park police spokesman Sgt. Eduardo Delgado said Washington police are now handling the investigation.

The deceased man’s motive for the deadly stunt is unclear.

Incident Caught on Video

Gupta was spotted by multiple witnesses and captured on multiple cameras setting himself on fire.

Shocked eyewitnesses could be heard screaming and sirens were heard moments later as law enforcement officials arrived on the scene.

“At approximately 12:20 p.m. a man lit himself on fire on the Ellipse near 15th and Constitution Ave., Secret Service personnel are on scene assisting @NatlParkService and @usparkpolicepio in rendering first aid,” the Secret Service stated.

On Twitter, a man said that his daughter saw the self-immolation, saying the person was running through the park before he set himself alight.

“According to my daughter…she just saw a person that was on fire running across the White House lawn. Police and rescue have responded. They’re closing all surrounding streets right now. Video to follow,” Krisjan Berzins tweeted.

Video of the incident shot from a distance shows a figure engulfed in flames and a plume of smoke.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM
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