CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — A man is dead after police say he doused himself with flammable liquid and then set himself on fire.
It happened in Chillicothe Wednesday evening.
The police department said several people called 911 to report a suspicious man. At first, the reports said the man had a container of flammable liquid and asked businesses for lighters.
Then someone noticed the same man driving erratically and speeding in a repurposed bus as he entered the Chillicothe city limits.
Officers stopped the bus and tried to talk to the driver.
Instead of complying, the department said the man jumped out of the driver’s seat and ran to the back of the bus.
Officers said the man refused to follow their instructions to exit the vehicle, and the bus windows were heavily tinted so officers were unable to see inside.
They said during that time, the man poured flammable liquid on himself and ignited it. He then ran from the bus toward officers.
Stacy McBroom said she and her daughter drove past the standoff with officers and noticed the bus.
“It was spray painted with like a village type picture on it. I think the whole Chillicothe department, police department was surrounding the school bus with caution tape. Sirens, lights,” McBroom said.
The officers used a fire extinguisher to try to put out the flames and save the man’s life.
The victim was airlifted to a hospital, but died from his injuries.
The police department said the man is 43 years old and from Dalton, Missouri, but investigators have not released his name.
McBroom said while the situation was shocking, it’s not something she believes anyone should joke about.
“If this person had a mental health concern, I just want to let people know that there are resources out there. There are some fantastic therapists and fantastic case workers. There is support system out there and if you’re struggling, don’t put someone else’s life on the line, get the help that you need,” McBroom said.
No one else was injured according to police. An investigation into the incident is underway.
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