A District of Columbia police spokesman says a man who set himself on fire on the National Mall has died of his injuries.
Officer Araz Alali says the man died Friday night at a Washington hospital where he had been airlifted.
He says the man was so badly burned that he will need to be identified through DNA and dental records.
The man poured a can of gasoline on himself in the center portion of the mall Friday afternoon. He then set himself on fire, with passing joggers taking off their shirts to help douse the flames.
Police are investigating the man's possible motives for doing so.
Washington City Paper
quoted Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Saray Leon on Friday saying the victim was “conscious and breathing” when officers found him.
At least two photos of the incident were posted by spectators, Fox reported – showing a helicopter and ambulance taking the man for treatment.
Vanessa Sink@LiveMusicGirl tweeted a couple of pictures and reported: "I didn't see him light the match, but I saw the flames engulf his body. It was surreal,” Fox reported.
Another picture post read: "DC police and passerby help man who set himself on fire on the Mall this afternoon."
The stunning violence was was the latest jolt to the nation’s capital, where a mass shooting erupted at the Navy Yard on Sept. 16, and where federal workers have been furloughed by the shutdown of the government on Tuesday.
Authorities were still investigating the violent death of a Connecticut woman who was fatally shot by police near the U.S. Capitol after a chase through the heart of Washington.
Miriam Carey had tried to breach an outer security checkpoint at the White House. After police swarmed the car with guns drawn, Carey led authorities on a frantic chase through central Washington and died after being shot near the Capitol.
She had been driving with a 1-year-old girl in her car; the baby was unharmed.
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