Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial has died

US

A man who set himself on fire outside the New York courthouse where former US President Donald Trump is on trial has died, Sky’s US partner NBC News has said.

Maxwell Azzarello was “declared deceased by hospital staff”, police told NBC News in a phone call.

No time of death was given.

Mr Azzarello, in his mid-30s, from St Augustine in Florida, threw conspiracy theory pamphlets in the air before setting himself alight in a designated protest area for pro and anti-Trump demonstrators on Friday.

He took a canister out of his bag containing what is believed to have been an alcohol-based accelerant, before dousing himself in the fluid and setting himself ablaze, police said.

Officers and civilians ran into the protest area and attempted to put out the flames using coats and fire extinguishers.

Four NYPD police officers suffered minor injuries from fire exposure, authorities said.

Police officers collect pamphlets dropped by a person who set themselves on fire. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Police officers collect pamphlets dropped by Mr Azzarello. Pic: Reuters

NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny told reporters: “The pamphlets appear to be propaganda-based, almost a conspiracy theory type of pamphlet. Some information in regards to a Ponzi scheme and the fact that some of our local educational institutes are fronts for the mob. So, a little bit of a conspiracy theory going on here.”

The blaze broke out after jury selection for Trump’s hush money trial concluded with 12 people, and six alternatives, chosen to decide whether the former US president covered up payments to women who alleged they had affairs with him.

The Trump campaign released a statement on Friday afternoon offering its “condolences to the traumatised witnesses” after the blaze.

Donald Trump in New York, U.S., 19 April 2024. Pic: Sarah Yenesel/Pool via Reuters
Image:
Donald Trump in court on Friday. Pic: Sarah Yenesel/Pool via Reuters

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