Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial is dead


A man who set himself on fire outside the Manhattan court where the trial concerning former President Donald Trump’s hush-money case is taking place has passed away.

Maxwell Azzarello, 37, poured a liquid over himself and scattered conspiracy-theory pamphlets into the air. This occurred as the jury selection for Mr. Trump’s trial concluded.

He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition on Friday and later succumbed to his injuries, as confirmed by CBS News, the BBC’s US partner.

While Mr. Trump was present in the building for jury selection, he had security with him but departed during the incident.

New York City police reported early Saturday that Mr. Azzarello was pronounced dead by hospital staff, according to NBC.

According to emergency officials, court security remained intact during Friday’s incident. Following the completion of alternate jury selection, the case resumed later in the afternoon. Opening statements are anticipated to commence on Monday.

Investigators reported receiving a 911 emergency call around 13:30 local time (18:30 GMT), alerting them to a man who had set himself ablaze.

He was identified as Maxwell Azzarello, aged 37, who had recently arrived in New York from his residence in Florida sometime during the previous week. He had no prior criminal record in New York, and his relatives in Florida were unaware of his travel to the city.

New York Police Chief Jeffrey Maddrey mentioned that Mr. Azzarello was observed “shuffling around” in the park before retrieving flammable liquid and pamphlets from a bag.

The pamphlets were “propaganda-based”, said Chief Maddrey, adding that they were regarding a “conspiracy theory”.

There was a massive police presence outside the courthouse because of the trial, and officers quickly ran into the park shouting for a fire extinguisher. Mr Azzarello was carried away on a stretcher, his body badly burned. The police said he was taken to a hospital burn centre in critical condition.

Witness Julie Berman told reporters: “It was hot, and it didn’t make a lot sense. The whole thing happened so fast… it took me like 20 seconds to figure out what was going on.”

Later, NYPD investigators were observed gathering pamphlets scattered by Mr. Azzarello before he set himself on fire. They have confirmed the area to be safe.

Investigators are currently interviewing witnesses, noting that Mr. Azzarello did not utter anything before igniting himself.

Three NYPD officers and one court officer sustained minor injuries while assisting in extinguishing the fire.

Authorities stated that they will now review and reassess security measures outside the court.