US airman, Aaron Bushnell, dies after setting himself on fire in protest outside Israeli embassy in Washington D.C.

Warning: the following contains distressing content.

An active duty member of the United States Air Force has died after setting themselves on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington D.C. Sunday.

Before lighting himself on fire, Aaron Bushnell, 25, of San Antonio, Texas, said he would “no longer be complicit in genocide,” referencing Israel’s most recent mass slaughter in Gaza.

Keep reading for more details.

According to media reports, Bushnell livestreamed his final moments on Twitch.

“I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I’m about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it’s not extreme at all. Free Palestine,” the 25-year-old said before setting down his recording device.

Bushnell, who was wearing fatigues, doused himself in an unknown liquid then lit himself on fire while yelling “Free Palestine!” before falling to the ground.

US Secret Service officers responded to the scene and extinguished the fire before Bushnell was taken to the hospital with “critical life threatening injuries.”

A Secret Service spokesperson told TIME, officers of the uniformed division responded to “an individual that was experiencing a possible medical / mental health emergency.”

Also seen in the viral video is an officer pointing what appears to be a gun at Bushnell as the Secret Service extinguish the fire.

“I don’t need guns, I need fire extinguishers!” can be heard as officers attempt to save Bushnell.

On Monday, the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, DC confirmed the 25-year-old airman died from his injuries.

This marks the second person to have set themselves on fire in “extreme act of political protest.”

In December, an unidentified person set themselves on fire outside the Consulate General of Israel in Atlanta. A Palestinian flag was recovered at the scene.

Protests against the genocide in Gaza have grown ever since Israel launched a war against Palestine’s militant group Hamas after Israeli officials claimed an attack on October 7 led to the deaths of 1,200 people.

Israel’s response has killed nearly 30,000 people in Gaza and has left nearly the entire population without food, water, shelter, or proper medical care.


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