Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

Man Who Set Fire To Himself On On National Mall Reportedly Dies

Photo by Win McNamee

Police investigate the scene after a man set himself ablaze on the National Mall's lawn Friday afternoon in Washington, DC. The man did not survive his injuries, according to reports.

The man who set himself on fire on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Friday has died of his injuries, according to a police spokesman cited by the AP. The man reportedly used gasoline to commit the act, which drew attempts from passers-by to extinguish the flames.

"Officer Araz Alali, a police spokesman, said the man died Friday night at a Washington hospital," the AP reports. "The man's name and age were not immediately known, and his burns were so severe that authorities will need to use DNA and dental records to identify him, Alali said."

Joggers and others tried to use parts of their own clothing to save the man, as the Two-Way reported Friday. The incident occurred around 4:20 p.m. ET, apparently without warning and without a hint of the man's motivations. He was taken by helicopter to a local hospital for treatment, but officials said Friday that his injuries were severe.

The AP reports that a woman who witnessed the self-immolation said she saw a tripod set up near the man, but it is uncertain whether his actions were filmed.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.