The U.S. Supreme Court is seen, Friday, March 18, 2022 in Washington.
Jose Luis Magana/AP Photos
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.
This guy was my friend. He meditated with our sangha. This act is not suicide. This is a deeply fearless act of compassion to bring attention to climate crisis. We are piecing together info but he had been planning it for atleast one year. #wynnbruce I am so moved. https://t.co/bHoRaLK6Fr
— Dr. K. Kritee (@KriteeKanko) April 24, 2022
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.
A medical helicopter just landed near the Capitol for a medical emergency.
This is not a public safety issue. pic.twitter.com/WmGGmlBOQY
— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) April 22, 2022
The Capitol building is across the street from the Supreme Court, but neither were in session when the incident occurred.
Park Service helicopter lands on steps of Supreme Court after man tries to set himself on fire pic.twitter.com/jVEsgvEyas
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) April 22, 2022
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