The Los Angeles Police Department is reporting that a man, possibly homeless, locked himself inside a Starbucks bathroom this morning, poured some type of flammable liquid on himself, and set himself on fire.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
Moments later, witnesses heard “an explosive sound” in the area of the coffee shop… said Erik Scott, spokesman of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The man staggered out of the bathroom and was engulfed in flames, Scott said. He fell on the ground near the front of the store.
Customers helped put out the flames before firefighters arrived.
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the emergency call at around 8:20 a.m. at the coffee shop. Officials verified that when they arrived the fire was out already, and the victim had “extensive burns” to 90% of his body.
Aerial video from local news helicopters showed firefighters and police officers outside the business, but so far no patrons or employees have posted images of the victim, location, or emergency response workers.
According to LAPD Officer Liliana Preciado, the incident was believed to be a suicide attempt. The victim was last reported to be in critical condition.
(Man Lights Himself on Fire in Starbucks main image: NBC4)
Know the Signs of Suicide
While some may discount this story because the victim is believed to be a transient person — and as such may suffer from mental illness or an addiction of some kind — a potential suicide should never be dismissed. Know the signs of suicide. Never leave a potentially suicidal person alone. Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt, and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also take that person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.