A troubled veteran attempted to self immolate Tuesday outside the Georgia state Capitol in Atlanta.
The 58-year-old Air Force veteran and resident of Mableton expressed his frustration with the Department of Veterans Affairs by lighting himself on fire with gasoline and fireworks. A Georgia State Patrol officer put the fire out quickly, but not before 85 to 90 percent of the man’s body had been burned, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
“He was strapped with some homemade incendiary devices (and) firecrackers, and doused himself with some kind of flammable liquid,” Georgia State Patrol Captain Mark Perry told reporters.
The man, who law enforcement said indicated that “he is disgruntled with the VA system,” was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. Authorities shut down the area, evacuated nearby buildings, and searched for other explosive devices, The Washington Post reported.
The latest incident follows the self-immolation of veteran Charles Ingram in New Jersey in March 2016. An investigation into the VA in the wake of that incident concluded that the department had failed to provide the proper medical health care. (RELATED: Veteran Set Himself On Fire, VA Says It Failed To Provide Proper Mental Care)
The Trump administration has made reforming the VA a priority, as the agency has long been riddled with scandals. “Being a disgruntled veteran is something that I hear a lot throughout our veteran community here in Atlanta,” a local Georgia veteran told TheNYT. President Donald Trump previously described the VA as “probably the most incompetently run agency in the United States.” (RELATED: Trump Talks VA Reforms: ‘Get Out Of Here, You’re Fired’)
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