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Man dies after setting himself on fire near White House

Key Points
  • A man who set himself on fire near the White House has died, U.S. Park Police say.
  • Arnav Gupta of Bethesda, Maryland, set himself on fire on the Ellipse Park, not far from the Washington Monument, in full view of passersby, authorities say.
Law enforcement gathers at the scene where a man set himself on fire on the Ellipse near 15th and Constitution Avenue on May 29, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Tasos Katopodis | Getty Images

A man who set himself on fire near the White House has died of his injuries, U.S. Park Police said Thursday.

The man, identified as Arnav Gupta of Bethesda, Maryland, set himself on fire Wednesday afternoon on the Ellipse Park, not far from the Washington Monument, in full view of passersby.

He "died of his injuries later that evening," police said in a statement.

Park Police said they had turned over their investigation to the Washington Metropolitan Police Department.

Multiple outlets reported that Gupta was the man who had been reported missing Wednesday morning by police in suburban Montgomery County, Maryland.

In a Facebook post asking for public help locating him, the police said that Gupta, 33, was last seen by his family when he left his home around 9:20 a.m. Wednesday.

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Man sets himself on fire near White House

Police said in the post that they "are concerned for Gupta's physical and emotional welfare."

The Secret Service said Wednesday that officers responded in "seconds" after Gupta set himself on fire, then began administering first aid and transported him to a hospital.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment on Gupta's death.

Alina Berzins, 17, told CNBC on Wednesday that she was visiting the National Mall with two of her cousins and saw the man "running, and then we saw him covered in flames."

The man's motive remains unclear. Another man had set his jacket on fire outside the White House's North Fence Line in April. That man's injuries were not life-threatening.