A man at the University of California at Berkeley set himself on fire on Wednesday after experiencing a severe mental health episode.
A video of the incident has since been circulating online, garnering more than 350,000 views. At 4:17 p.m., authorities were notified after the man was seen walking completely engulfed in flames at Sproul Plaza on campus.
Bystanders poured water on the man and swatted at the flames with their jackets in an attempt to help him. One person could be heard repeatedly shouting “Get on the ground” at the man, but he did not heed the command and continued wandering around.
First responders managed to get the situation under control before taking the victim to Highland Hospital in Oakland.
Eyewitness Tony Delacruz told Berkeleyside that the man seemed “indifferent” to the fire and was lashing out at bystanders around him. Another witness, Rachel Diao, stated that the man was shouting “Mormon Mafia.” He continually ran from and pushed away those trying to extinguish the flames.
Eventually, a local business owner doused the victim with a fire extinguisher. Fire had already burned through the victim’s shirt and pants, making it difficult for first reponders to get him to the ground.
Campus police are investigating the incident. UC Berkeley has not confirmed whether the victim was affiliated with the university.