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A Boulder, Colo., man who reportedly set himself on fire outside the U.S. Supreme Court building on Earth Day in a protest that he allegedly may have pre-planned for a year in advance, has died.
The deceased individual, who is said to be a Buddhist and a climate activist and who various news outlets have identified as Wynn Bruce, passed away on Saturday morning.
Bruce, who was in his 50s, was airlifted to a local hospital on Friday evening and tragically succumbed at that facility.
Supreme Court Police, the D.C. police, and U.S. Capitol Police all responded to the incident.
1. Yesterday, on Earth Day, a man named Wynn Alan Bruce set himself on fire in front of the Supreme Court, in Washington DC. Those who knew Wynn describe him as very kind, someone who cared about stopping climate change. pic.twitter.com/WnWoEcHXhi
— Andrew Bear (@1andrewbear) April 24, 2022
A D.C. police spokesperson told the Denver Post that “Supreme Court police are continuing to investigate the man’s motive. She said Bruce was observed sitting on a bench about 6:05 p.m. Friday. A short time after that, she said, Supreme Court officers saw the man engulfed in flame. Bruce was the only person injured in the incident.”
Park Service helicopter lands on steps of Supreme Court after man tries to set himself on fire pic.twitter.com/jVEsgvEyas
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) April 22, 2022
Park Service helicopter lands on steps of Supreme Court after man tries to set himself on fire pic.twitter.com/FImdTuTa6F
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) April 22, 2022
This self-immolation occurred at around the same time cops were responding to an unrelated active shooter situation in the area. In that incident, a suspect was found dead in a nearby apartment. At least four people, including a 12-year-old girl were wounded in the unconnected situation, and all are expected to recover.
Sharing here because there is virtually no media coverage, and what exists does not identify why Wynn Bruce did this. He did this to because of what the imagery evokes. That’s why it must be shared. This video on TikTok only had three likes. SPREAD FAR pic.twitter.com/VrinFCwbMv
— Puppos Praxis (@puppospraxis) April 24, 2022
On Twitter, the U.S. Capitol Police provided an alert that “a medical helicopter just landed near the Capitol for a medical emergency. This is not a public safety issue.” They also advised that two roads — First Street between Constitution and Independence, and East Capitol Street between First Street and Second Street — would be temporarily closed as public safety agencies responded.
“A Facebook page belonging to a person named Wynn Bruce said he was a Buddhist and a climate activist,” the New York Post claimed. In 2020, Bruce left a cryptic Facebook comment that included a fire emoji and the date of his death, 4/22/2022.”
Wynn Alan Bruce announced his date and manner of death a year ago. pic.twitter.com/QQvLKn08tj
— Rebecca Field (@rebs_field) April 23, 2022
Early Sunday, as alluded to above, a Buddhist priest who knew Bruce personally wrote on Twitter that “This act is not suicide. This is a deeply fearless act of compassion to bring attention to climate crisis. We are piecing together info but he had been planning it for at least one year…”
This guy was my friend. He meditated with our sangha. This act is not suicide. This is a deeply fearless act of compassion to bring attention to climate crisis. We are piecing together info but he had been planning it for atleast one year. #wynnbruce I am so moved. https://t.co/bHoRaLK6Fr
— Dr. K. Kritee (@KriteeKanko) April 24, 2022
“The 252-foot oval plaza is up a small flight of steps from the sidewalk on First Street NE outside the court building. The court faces the Capitol across First Street, and is often the site of heated protests and faceoffs between advocates for different causes as the justices consider some of the weightiest and most divisive issues confronting the nation,” the Washington Post explained.
Watch a report aired by CBS D.C. affiliate WUSA, Channel 9:
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