WASHINGTON — A man was hospitalized on Wednesday after apparently setting himself on fire on the Ellipse, a park south of the White House.
In a tweet, the Secret Service said the National Park Service and the United States Park Police administered first aid at the scene after the man self-immolated around 12:20 p.m.
The man was taken to a hospital, where he was listed in critical condition, according to a spokesman for the Park Police.
Videos of the episode showed the man walking several paces while engulfed in flames as law enforcement personnel sprayed him with fire extinguishers.
A spokesman for the Secret Service said officers cleared the area around the White House of people in the interest of safety. This included members of the National Center for Transgender Equality, who were demonstrating in protest of the Trump administration’s plan to roll back protections for transgender people, which was announced last week.
By evening, officials said they still had not determined the man’s identity or the motivation for his actions.