Man who set himself on fire near the White House dies from injuries

A video grab shows police officers around a man who set himself on fire near the White House.
A video grab shows police officers around a man who set himself on fire near the White House.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

WASHINGTON (NYTIMES) - A man who set himself on fire in a park south of the White House on Wednesday has died, the United States Park Police said early on Thursday (May 30).

The man was identified as Arnav Gupta, 33, of Bethesda, Maryland.

He had been reported missing by the Montgomery County Police Department on Wednesday.

Officers with the National Park Service and the US Park Police administered first aid at the scene after Mr Gupta self-immolated around 12.20pm on Wednesday.

He was taken to a hospital, but died from his injuries later that day, the Park Police said in a statement.

His family reported him missing on Wednesday, and the authorities put out a missing person notice that the "police are concerned for Gupta's physical and emotional welfare".

Law enforcement officials said on Thursday that they had made no official determination of his motivation.

 

After Mr Gupta's death, the investigation was turned over to the Metropolitan Police Department, which has primary responsibility for death and homicide cases in Washington.

The Park Police had originally overseen the case because it occurred on the Ellipse, a national park.

The episode comes just a month after a similar one in which a man in a motorised wheelchair set his jacket on fire outside the White House grounds.

In that case, Secret Service officers were able to extinguish the flames before the man was seriously injured.