- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
A man who set himself on fire at the National Mall in the United States capital died on Friday.
Because his injuries were so extensive, authorities are waiting for DNA and dental records to verify the man’s identity.
It is unclear at this point what the man’s motives were in setting himself on fire. Some witnesses claim he might’ve said something before the incident but were unable to discern his speech. One woman claims a man had set up his tripod nearby but was gone by the time authorities arrived.
The Washington Post reports that Katy Scheflen, a witness to the scene, said that the man with the tripod “appeared to be waiting for something to happen. After it happened, he was gone [...] I can’t say what the connection was between them or whether there was a connection.”
According to The Huffington Post, U.S. Park Police said the man who set himself on fire didn’t appear to be carrying any signs or objects that implied the act was politically charged. However, self-immolation has a history of political implications, and the location and the concurrent timing with the government shutdown hint at political motives as well.