It occurred on the National Mall in Washington DC, near the White House. Witnesses at the scene report seeing a man pouring gasoline over himself from a red cannister before setting himself on fire at around 4:20 PM local time (20.20 GMT).
Nearby joggers ripped their shirts off in attempts to beat down the flames before emergency services arrived.
The man was flown by helicopter to the nearby Washington Hospital Center after receiving major burns, with firefighters saying that he was “conscious and breathing” although in a serious condition.
The man set himself on fire as a protest, although it remains unclear what exactly he was protesting against.
His name is unknown, at this time. Check back here from time to time to see if this information is revealed.
The time of the self-immolation, 4:20, is noteworthy. 4:20 is a time (and 4/20, a date) when many marijuana users like to "burn one." The biggest recent story out of D.C. is the partial shutdown of the federal government, and the shutdown began on the same day as the less publicized shutdown of Silk Road, a darknet site which allowed customers to purchase marijuana and other illegal drugs.More on Miriam Carey can be found here.
Fire resonates with the aforementioned Black Madonna, as well. The Polish Black Madonna is theorized by some to have acquired its darkness from the soot produced by a fire. Also, a ritual of burning a wheel (resonates with tires) of fire has been sometimes used to venerate the Black Madonna.
One wonders if the copycat effect is at work in the recent spate of D.C. tragedies. It is interesting that an anagram of "Miriam Carey" is "mimicry area."