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Man who lit himself on fire outside White House has died

The White House in Washington, D.C. (MaxPixel/Released)
May 30, 2019

The man who set himself on fire outside the White House on Wednesday has died.

A statement by the United States Park Police confirmed that a man from Maryland lit himself on fire outside the White House, was extinguished and rushed to the hospital, and later succumbed to his injuries.

“On May 29, 2019 at 12:25 p.m. officers from the United States Park Police and United States Secret Service responded to a report of an adult male who reportedly lit himself on fire on the Ellipse near 15th and Constitution Avenue. The individual was extinguished and later transported to a local hospital for treatment,” the statement said.

“The Bethesda, MD man identified as Arnav Gupta, died of his injuries later that evening. In accordance with policy, the investigation has been turned over to the Metropolitan Police Department,” the statement concluded.

Shocking photos on social media showed Gupta engulfed in bright orange flames while running and walking around Ellipse, the 52-acre public located just north of the Washington Monument.

Videos show law enforcement responding quickly to the scene and rush to extinguish the flames.

Gupta was reported missing in the hours ahead of the incident and was last scene by family members Wednesday morning.

The Montgomery County Police Department posted an announcement on Facebook asking the public for assistance in locating Gupta, and expressed concern for his “physical and emotional welfare.”

Their statement read:

Detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police – 2nd District Investigative Section are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing Bethesda area man.

Arnav Gupta, age 33, was last seen by family when he left his Cindy Lane home at approximately 9:20 this morning (Wednesday, May 29).

Gupta is described as an Indian male who is 5’ 9” tall and weighs 200 pounds. He has black hair, brown eyes, a mustache, and wears glasses.

Police are concerned for Gupta’s physical and emotional welfare.

A similar situation happened last month when a man set his jacket on fire outside the White House, prompting Secret Service to respond and extinguish the flames, which had caused a significant amount of smoke. The man in that incident, however, was not seriously injured.