A man has died after setting himself on fire in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. The incident happened on Friday night and Supreme Court spokesperson Patricia McCabe said there is no threat to public safety.
The man lit himself on fire in the plaza in front of the building at around 6:30 p.m., according to McCabe. Minutes after, he was airlifted by helicopter to a local hospital.
Police said on Saturday that the man died from his injuries.
The Metropolitan Police Department identified the man as Wynn Bruce, a resident of Boulder, Colo. McCabe said that no one else was injured in the incident.
D.C. police are investigating the death.
Kritee Kanko, a climate scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund and a practitioner of Zen Buddhism, said that she was friends with Bruce. She took to Twitter to claim that Bruce’s death was a planned act of protest that he had been planning for a year.
The incident occurred on Earth Day.
The area around the Supreme Court was closed to the public after the Supreme Court Police, U.S. Capitol Police, and Metropolitan Police Department arrived at the scene. CNN reports that the Supreme Court plaza had returned to normal by Saturday.
Capitol Police tweeted on Friday night that a helicopter was responding to a medical emergency.
The Capitol building is across the street from the Supreme Court, but neither were in session when the incident occurred.
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