A man from Maryland who set himself on fire near the White House on Wednesday has died.
U.S. Park Police said Arnav Gupta lit himself afire early Wednesday afternoon on the ellipse near a security checkpoint by the Washington Monument, about 2,200 feet from the south side of the White House.
Park Police and the Secret Service were said to have immediately responded to the fire, putting out the flames with a fire extinguisher.
“Like a torch, his whole body was on fire,” one witness told WRC-TV. “He was just walking like he was a zombie or something. Just straight, he wasn’t running and screaming or anything.”
Gupta, of Bethesda, Md., later died at a hospital. Park Police said Washington, D.C., Metro Police have taken over the investigation.
Witnesses said Gupta wore a sweatshirt in the 90-degree Washington, D.C., heat and carried a black bag.
“We were just looking at the White House to take pictures and he just came out of nowhere,” witness Alina Berzins said.
Officials said they found a suspicious package, also in flames, nearby. Its contents weren’t immediately known.