Metropolitan Police on Monday night identified a man who died after setting himself on fire on the Mall.
Police said John Constantino, 64, of Mount Laurel, N.J., set himself ablaze around 4:20 p.m. Friday at 7th Street and Madison Drive in the center of the Mall. An ambulance arrived on the scene about three minutes later and found Mr. Constantino suffering from life-threatening injuries.
“It is now apparent that he set himself on fire,” police said in a statement.
His family said through an attorney that they were “shocked and deeply saddened” by Mr. Constantino’s death.
“His death was not a political act or statement, but the result of his long battle with mental illness,” said a statement, released by attorney Jeffrey Cox.
Witness Katy Scheflen told The Associated Press she was walking along the Mall when she saw a man by himself pick up a can of gasoline and empty its contents on his head before setting himself ablaze.
She said passing joggers took off their shirts to help douse the flames.