WASHINGTON — A man set himself on fire on the National Mall in the nation’s capital as passersby rushed over to help douse the flames, officials and witnesses said Friday.
The reason for the self-immolation was not immediately clear, and the man’s identity was not disclosed. But it occurred in public view in a city still rattled by a mass shooting last month and a car chase outside the US Capitol on Thursday that ended with a woman being shot dead by police.
The man on the Mall suffered life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to the hospital, said District of Columbia fire department spokesman Tim Wilson. The D.C. police department has dispatched its violent crimes branch, which responds to cases in which a person suffers serious injury.