Air Force Veteran, 58, Protesting Against the VA, Sets Himself on Fire in AtlantaDaily Mail
June 27, 2018
A 58-year-old Air Force veteran from Georgia set off a homemade explosive device strapped to his chest outside Georgia Capitol.
A retired serviceman who says he was disgruntled with the Veterans Affairs system strapped fireworks to his chest and lit himself on fire in front of the Georgia Capitol on Tuesday.
The incident prompted the Capitol building to be evacuated and the surrounding streets to be shut down at 10.45AM. No one else was injured.
'He had [fireworks] strapped to himself and as I understand doused himself with some additional flammable and set himself on fire,' said Mark Perry, Director of Public Information for the Georgia Department of Public Safety. 'I'm not sure if it was gasoline or kerosene or what it was.'
The Georgia State Patrol was holding a news conference about a new distracted driving law going into effect on July 1 when the event was interrupted by several loud bangs caused by exploding fireworks, reported CBS46.
A trooper on the scene was able to quickly put out the flames engulfing the veteran with a fire extinguisher.
Perry said the man's condition was not immediately known, though he was burned but could still speak to officers.
He was brought to Grady Memorial Hospital with burns to 85-90 per cent of his body, reported Atlanta Journal Constitution.
The man was only identified as an 58-year-old Air Force veteran from Mableton, Georgia.
'I'm not sure what his history is there, but he is disgruntled with the VA system and is trying to draw some attention to that. He stated something to the effect that he was looking for some help,' Perry said.
A Nissan Sentra belonging to the man was still parked in front of the Capitol and was being investigated by a bomb squad unit.
The vehicle displayed a sign with a phone number written on it, but law enforcement officials urged the public not to call that number for fear that it might set off an explosive device somewhere.