ATLANTA – Disgruntled with the U.S. Veterans Administration, a veteran set himself on fire outside the state Capitol in downtown Atlanta on Tuesday, according to the Georgia State Patrol.
Shortly after 10:30 a.m. local time, the Air Force veteran parked a Nissan Sentra on Washington Street, Georgia State Patrol Capt. Mark Perry told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
He stepped out the car and walked toward the Capitol, according to officials.
“He was strapped with some homemade incendiary devices (and) firecrackers, and doused himself with some kind of flammable liquid,” Perry said.
Several loud explosions were heard. No shots were fired.
“That was the sound of fireworks,” Perry said.
A trooper saw what was happening and put out the fire with an extinguisher, according to authorities.
The veteran was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital with burns over 85 to 90 percent of his body. His name has not been released, but Perry described him as a 58-year-old from Mableton.
No other injuries have been reported.
The Capitol and judiciary buildings have been evacuated. Workers were forced to evacuate children at a day care associated with Central Presbyterian Church to a neighboring Catholic church.
Officials are still looking for potential additional threats and roads around the Capitol are closed. The veteran has a sign in his car windshield saying to call a number on it.
“Please don’t call that number,” Perry said.
Officials fear calls to the number might set off another device.
Multiple agencies are on the scene, including the GBI bomb squad, which is examining the Nissan. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is en route, too.
Local journalism is essential.
The journalists of The Spokesman-Review are a part of the community. They live here. They work here. They care. You can help keep local journalism strong right now with your contribution. Thank you.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.