Emergency crews responded to a scene near the Georgia State Capitol where a veteran reportedly set himself on fire. Commissioner Mark McDonough with Georgia State Patrol says that a veteran was protesting and set himself on fire with “gasoline and fireworks”.
According to various reports, several loud explosions were heard outside of the Georgia Capitol around 10:30 a.m. local time. A trooper on the scene put out the flames with a fire extinguisher and the reported veteran, who is still unidentified, suffered “severe” burns. The man was reportedly protesting his treatment by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. After he was put out, he was rushed to a local hospital.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations, Georgia State Patrol, and Georgia State Capitol Police all responded to the scene. In addition, K-9s and the bomb squad were used to investigate the scene further.
via CBS 46:
A number of law enforcement officers were on hand behind her and when they heard the banging noises, they cleared the press conference and began pursuit.
According to the Georgia Dept. of Public Safety, officers then discovered that a veteran had set himself ablaze by using fireworks because he was upset with treatment he was receiving at the VA hospital. The man was taken to an area hospital where his condition is unknown at this time.
Several roads are blocked off around the area as police investigate. They’re asking people to avoid the area, if possible.
— Linda Stouffer (@LindaWSB) June 26, 2018
A nearby news conference by the Georgia State Police and other agencies about Georgia’s new hands-free law taking place nearby was stopped as the officers participating rushed to the sound of the explosion. The Georgia State Capitol was evacuated after the incident.
At this time, the male veteran remains unidentified, although he is reportedly a 58-year-old from Mabelton, Georgia. No other injuries have been reported at this time.