Wynn Bruce Boulder Colorado man dies after lighting himself on fire outside Supreme Court in Washington D.C after Facebook post revealed planning self immolation one year ago from today.
A climate activist who lit himself on fire on Earth Day, Friday night outside the United States Supreme Court Building has died. A buddhist who knew the activist called his death ‘an act of compassion’.
The incident happened around 6:30 p.m. on the plaza in front of the court building.
He was airlifted to a local hospital, where he died. Video caught sounds (see below) of the man screaming in agony after setting himself on fire.
A LinkedIn profile for a Wynn Bruce of Boulder, Colorado states he was a photojournalist who had previously attended Front Range Community College and the Community College of Denver.
#Breaking: Just in – Video of the police on the scene near the Supreme Court building in Washington #DC, showing you and hearing the sounds of a person screaming in agony after he set himself on fire, and after the fire was extinguished by police officers. #US pic.twitter.com/Xpkee02BC7
— Sotiri Dimpinoudis (@sotiridi) April 22, 2022
‘deeply fearless act of compassion…’
Bruce’s Facebook page described the man as a Buddhist and a climate activist.
It’s thought Bruce had been planning to take his own life since 2020, when he posted a cryptic Facebook comment that included a fire emoji and the date of his death, 4/22/2022.
A Buddhist priest from Boulder who knew Bruce, took to Twitter to clarify that Bruce’s death was not a suicide, but a ‘deeply fearless act of compassion.’
‘This guy was my friend. He meditated with our sangha [Buddhist community],’ Dr. K. Kritee wrote. ‘This act is not suicide. This is a deeply fearless act of compassion to bring attention to climate crisis. We are piecing together info but he had been planning it for at least one year.’
Supreme Court Police said that they were still investigating the man’s motive for self-immolation. No one else was injured in the incident.
Self-immolation is the act of sacrificing oneself by setting oneself on fire and burning to death. It is typically used for political or religious reasons.
Bruce’s Facebook page has since been inundated with comments both praising his actions and criticizing his way of bringing attention to his cause.
Latest act of self-immolation
‘How can you solve the climate crisis when you leave in the middle of the fight. Now you can’t do anything to be helpful,’ one person commented.
The incident is the latest act of self-immolation in Washington D.C.
In 2019, Arnav Gupta of Bethesda, Maryland set himself on fire outside the White House. He died shortly after due to his injuries.
In 1965, Baltimore Quaker and pacifist Norman Morrison was killed when he set himself on fire outside the Pentagon to protest the war in Vietnam.