Active-Duty Airman Dies After Setting Himself on Fire in Protest Outside of Israeli Embassy

U.S. Secret Service police vehicle is parked outside of the Israeli Embassy
A U.S. Secret Service police vehicle is parked outside of the Israeli Embassy, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, in Washington. An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., while declaring that he "will no longer be complicit in genocide." (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

An active-duty member of the Air Force died after setting himself on fire as an act of protest outside of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Sunday.

The airman, whose identity was not immediately confirmed, recorded the self-immolation, and a video of it was posted online. In it, the uniformed service member calmly walks to the front of the embassy and says he is about to engage in an "extreme act of protest." He then dumps an accelerant on himself from a water bottle and pulls out a lighter, setting himself on fire. He screamed "free Palestine" repeatedly before collapsing to the ground, engulfed in flames.

Rose Riley, an Air Force spokeswoman, confirmed to late Sunday evening that the individual was an active-duty airman. The Air Force also said Monday morning that the airman "succumbed to his injuries and passed away last night."

Read Next: National Guard Apache Helicopter Crashes in Mississippi Killing Two Crew Members

The Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department said Sunday on X, formerly known as Twitter, that officers responded to the embassy around 1 p.m. local time "to assist the United States Secret Service after an individual set themselves on fire in front of an embassy in the block." The police identified him as an adult male.

In the video, armed guards run up to the man with weapons drawn, and one person brings a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. D.C. police dispatched an explosive ordnance disposal team to search a suspicious vehicle at the scene, but it was cleared Sunday evening after "no hazardous materials found," the police said on X.

The airman identifies himself as Aaron Bushnell in the video, CNN reported. The Air Force has not released the man's identity, saying it will "provide additional details 24 hours after next-of-kin notifications are complete."

This is the second act of self-immolation related to the ongoing bloodshed brought on by the Israel and Hamas war, which has led to massive casualties in the Gaza Strip.

In December, a protester set themselves on fire outside the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta, Georgia. A Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of the protest, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said, according to The Associated Press.

Related: Israel's Air Force Strikes Deep Inside Lebanon, Killing 2 People, After Hezbollah Downs a Drone

Story Continues