A man literally set himself on fire yesterday at a public library in Iowa, in front of a ton of people who were greatly disturbed by the sight:
NY POST – A man walked into the busy atrium of an Iowa public library, doused himself with flammable liquid and set himself on fire before the eyes of horrified onlookers, police said Wednesday.
“I will never un-see what I saw,” Mallory Young, 35, of Des Moines, told the Des Moines Register. “There were people in tears in my office, it was that disturbing.”
The man who set himself on fire died later at the hospital…
Victim David Smith, 36, died late Tuesday from the burns he sustained about four hours earlier in the enclosed hallway at the Des Moines Central Library, Des Moines police told The Post.
Young, who watched the tragedy unfold from an office building across the street from the library, said she saw police officers “spraying down” the man’s severely burned and discolored body before he was put in an ambulance.
Video obtained by the newspaper shows officials responding to the fire as people stand outside.
Smith had only been in Des Moines for two weeks prior the incident and his last known address was in Anchorage, Alaska, Des Moines police spokesman Sgt. Paul Parizek said.
It was immediately unclear whether Smith – who had lived a “transient” lifestyle,” Parizek told The Post – was struggling with mental health issues. An investigation is ongoing, he said.
Library staffers and other people nearby helped put the blaze, which shut down the location before it later reopened early Wednesday.
Just so you know, even if there was video of this there’s no way I’d post it. It’s quite simply too disturbing and horrific to watch someone die like that. There were enough people in the area who were forced to witness the spectacle – no need for anyone else to see it. That said, it must’ve been heartbreaking to see a man go up in flames like that, so see life disappearing in such a tragic fashion. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
No one else was hurt and the library was undamaged.