Hallucinating Man Sets Himself On Fire Outside The White House And Dies Shortly After
A hallucinating 33-year-old man died after setting himself on fire outside the White House while wearing a USA t-shirt.
The man had taken synthetic marijuana K2 type laced with PCP (phencyclidine).
Arnav Gupta left his Bethesda, Maryland home on Wednesday at 9:20 and was soon reported to the police as missing. Authorities said they had concerns for his “physical and emotional welfare.”
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.
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) May 29, 2019
Gupta was spotted walking across the grassy expanse of the Ellipse, south of the White House, engulfed in flames. The 33-year-old had set himself on fire with a wick effect and died in a hospital later the same evening, authorities said.
Several bystanders captured the gruesome events on video which shows Secret Service officers rushing to Gupta in cars and on foot. The officers doused Gupta with foam from fire extinguishers after he walked several steps while burning. A number of disturbing pictures capturing the event have also been released.
Gupta’s home near the Congressional County Club was thoroughly searched but police did not comment on what, if anything, they found. Gupta’s motives remain unclear.
Relatives did not answer to interview requests by phone nor email, and no one answered the door at the house where he lived.
Kevin Boland, a neighbor who had known Gupta since he first moved to Cindy Lane seven years said: “He really couldn’t have been a nicer kid.” Boland added that Gupta had always struck him as a smart man, although he had not seen him often over the past year and a half. He had even started to wonder whether Gupta had moved out.
Boland continued by saying “This is a tragedy”, noting that Gupta had never expressed any extreme political views and that his death seemed inexplicable.
Jesus Christ. This guy set himself on fire outside the White House. pic.twitter.com/IIXAoGS6ia
— Mariaaaa (@bedolla_maria) May 29, 2019
Police said it remains unresolved as to why Gupta chose to come near the White House, a place frequently visited by tourists, as well as people with grievances, and others.
According to his official schedule, President Donald Trump was in the Oval Office at the time taking part in a ceremonial swearing-in of the President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
Several other security incidents have occurred in the vicinity of the White House in recent years, in part due to its central location in D.C., with a number of streets approaching it.
On April 12, a man in a wheelchair-type electric scooter lit his jacket on fire outside the White House fence.
The man was hospitalized with what seemed to be non-life threatening injuries.
As part of security improvements set to begin this summer, crews will be working on installing a larger fence around the White House.
The current fence will be replaced with a new structure that will be about 13 feet tall, an increase of about 5 feet.