Atlanta, GA – A man who said he was a veteran set himself on fire on the front steps of the Georgia State Capitol to protest his treatment by the Veterans Administration on Tuesday morning (video below).
"He set himself on fire," Colonel Mark McDonough, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, told WXIA. "One of our troopers happened to catch it immediately. Got his fire extinguisher and used his fire extinguisher to put it out.”
Just a block away, law enforcement was holding a press conference about the new Georgia hands-free driving law, when a series of explosions interrupted the event.
In the video of the press conference, Georgia State Troopers who were standing behind the speaker at the podium can be seen reacting to the sound of multiple explosions.
Suddenly, the troopers took off in the direction of the state capitol, with Atlanta police officers hot on their heels, the video showed.
Police said the veteran, whose name has not been released, tried to set himself on fire with a combination of fireworks and gasoline, WNYW reported.
After a trooper extinguished the flames, the man was rushed by ambulance to Grady Memorial Hospital. Authorities said no one else was hurt in the incident.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia State Capitol Police were using K-9s to investigate the scene, WNYW reported.
A bomb robot was also deployed at the scene, and had appeared to be focused on a grey sedan that may belong to the suspect, WXIA reported.
The Capitol and the surrounding area have been evacuated while police make sure there are no other explosives in the area.
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Watch the state police respond to the sound of explosions during the press conference in the video below: