An unidentified veteran walked up to the Georgia State Capitol on the morning of June 26, 2018 and casually set himself on fire using a combination of gasoline and fireworks. He was protesting his treatment by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
FOX's Atlanta affiliate is reporting that the veteran was quickly extinguished by officers of the Georgia State Patrol and that no one else was injured in the protest or its aftermath. No, the man was not rushed to a VA medical center. Instead, an ambulance took the injured veteran to nearby Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.
The scene just after the veteran was taken to the hospital in Atlanta. (Photo by FOX 5 Atlanta's Aungelique Proctor via Twitter)
The explosion caused by the fireworks could be heard during press conferences happening elsewhere on the Capitol grounds, according to FOX 5 Atlanta, who was covering a discussion about Georgia's new hands-free traffic safety law, taking effect on July 1st. State troopers at that conference made a beeline for the self-immolating veteran.
You can hear the explosions and the reactions of the Georgia Patrol starting around 4:10.
It's a lucky thing a handful public safety officers from the Georgia State Patrol happened to be on hand for the hands-free law announcement.
Initially, the series of explosions was thought to be a series of actual bombs detonating around the Capitol area, and the Atlanta bomb squad was called on to the scene, according to FOX 5's Aungelique Proctor.
#BREAKING Atlanta Police Bomb squad just arrived. Controlled explosions can still be heard around the State Capital. @FOX5Atlanta pic.twitter.com/02yCXugdbO
— Aungelique Proctor (@aungeliquefox5) June 26, 2018
Later, the bomb squad's focus was on the white vehicle in which the still-unknown injured veteran arrived to the Georgia Capitol. The Georgia State Patrol and Georgia Bureau of Investigation is also on the scene as the story develops.