ATLANTA (AP) — State investigators say a man who identified himself as an Air Force veteran has died after he lit himself on fire in front of the Georgia Capitol last week to protest the Veterans Affairs system.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation tweeted Tuesday that 58-year-old John Michael Watts died Monday. Authorities say Watts strapped fireworks to his chest, doused himself with a flammable liquid and set himself on fire June 26. A state trooper who saw what was happening quickly put out the flames.
UPDATE from Atlanta Journal
About 10:45 a.m., the 58-year-old Air Force veteran from Mableton parked a Nissan Sentra on Washington Street, stepped out of the car and walked toward the Capitol, GSP Capt. Mark Perry told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Veteran sets himself on fire in protest outside Georgia Capitol
By: J.D. Simkins
3 hours ago
A veteran who was fed up with treatment by the Department of Veterans Affairs set himself on fire in protest outside of the Georgia state Capitol building in downtown Atlanta on Tuesday.
A veteran protesting treatment from the Department of Veterans affairs set himself on fire outside of the Georgia Capitol building on Tuesday. (Stephen Morton/Getty Images)The 58-year-old from Mableton, Georgia, who has not yet been identified, parked his car alongside the Capitol before walking toward the building, where he commenced self-immolation, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“He was strapped with some homemade incendiary devices (and) firecrackers, and doused himself with some kind of flammable liquid,” Georgia State Patrol Capt. Mark Perry told the AJC.
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