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Graphic Video: Elderly man sets himself on fire

Police car lights (Dreamstime/TNS)
April 04, 2024

An elderly man set both himself and his home on fire Monday when police officers came to his home to serve an eviction notice. The man also threw a “flaming gas can” at the police.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office released a body camera video showing 82-year-old Anthony Goulding setting himself on fire before attempting to ignite a female sheriff deputy.

Oklahoma County Sheriff Tommie Johnson III explained that two female deputies were dispatched Monday to the home of an elderly couple to serve the eviction notice after working with the elderly couple for multiple weeks to find them another place to stay.

“They were going to an extended stay facility yesterday and an Uber was waiting out front to take them to that location as our deputies were tending to the elderly woman who has Parkinson’s disease,” Johnson said.

Showing the body camera footage during a press conference, Johnson said the 82-year-old man poured gasoline on the floor of one of the bedrooms while the deputies were inside the home. When one of the deputies asked the elderly man what he was doing, he responded, “You ready?” Goulding then pulled out a lighter and ignited the gasoline.

The deputy shouted at Goulding to stop and attempted to push him out of the way of the fire; however, after setting himself on fire the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office said the man “threw a flaming gas can at one of our deputies, briefly setting her on fire as well.”

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After moving away from the bedroom, the two deputies quickly located Goulding’s wife in the living room and said, “Come on. We gotta go. We gotta get you out.”

Since Goulding’s wife was not able to quickly exit the house on her own, the deputies had to drag her outside before the fire overtook the house. After moving Goulding’s wife to safety, one of the deputies unsuccessfully attempted to go back inside the burning home and save the elderly man. Johnson explained that the smoke quickly prevented the deputy from re-entering the house.

“Quickly, the home was overtaken by fire and smoke and that prevented her from making another entry,” Johnson said.

According to KFOR 4 News, the 82-year-old man was killed in the house fire. The elderly couple’s dog was also killed in the fire. Johnson told KFOR 4 News that both of the deputies involved in the incident were medically cleared; however, he noted that one of the deputies sustained minor burns from the fire.

Additionally, the sheriff confirmed that Goulding’s wife was safe and living somewhere else.