Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Man who set self on fire on National Mall identified as Mount Laurel man

The man who set himself on fire on the National Mall last week has been identified as Mount Laurel resident.

D.C. police said 64-year-old John Constantino died after he was found on fire on the National Mall on Friday afternoon. Authorities initially couldn't identify him due to the severity of his burns.

Witnesses have said they believed he poured gasoline onto himself then lit a blaze.

The Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement that it "is now apparent that he set himself on fire," but gave no other details.

The high-profile incident rattled the city and happened less than a month after a mass shooting at Washington's Navy Yard and the day after a high-speed car chase that ended when a woman was fatally shot by police near the U.S. Capitol.

Constantino's family said in a statement issued through an attorney that "his death was not a political act or statement, but the result of a long battle with mental illness," according to the Washington Post.

Emergency crews tried to treat Constantino on the Mall and he was hospitalized in critical condition before succumbing to his injuries.

In the statement, his family said they "would like to acknowledge the heroism of the paramedics and bystanders who attempted to save his life."

D.C. police said anyone with additional information should call police at 202-727-9099.


Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or ebabay@philly.com. Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443 or BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

Emily Babay PHILLY.COM
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