USAF Member Aaron Bushnell Sent Out a Final Message Prior to Self-Immolation at Israeli Embassy

(NationalUSNews.com) — On Sunday, February 25, a 25-year-old U.S. airman, Aaron Bushnell, set himself on fire outside the Washington, D.C., Israeli embassy in an apparent act of protest regarding the Israeli-Palestine conflict that has been ongoing since the October 7 attack on Israel by the terrorist group Hamas. Bushnell allegedly yelled “Free Palestine” and said he did not want to participate in what he referred to as the “genocide” in Gaza right before he set himself ablaze.

While the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and local fire department were immediately called out to the scene, the fire had already been extinguished by Secret Service Officers who had been alerted earlier about a man possibly experiencing “mental distress” in front of the Israeli embassy. Although the Secret Service officers arrived as quickly as possible, Bushnell proceeded with his self-immolation before they were able to engage with him. DC Fire and EMS rushed him to the hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Before going through with his public suicide, Bushnell uploaded a video on social media stating that he would be engaging in an act of extreme protest, as well as characterizing the war in Gaza as genocide by “colonizers”. He also set up his phone to live-stream his actions, which has since been taken down. However, the video is still circulating on social media, with commenters praising his actions, condemning them, or just expressing sadness that such a young man should kill himself in a pointless way instead of getting the mental health care that he clearly needed.

A spokesperson for the Air Force confirmed that he was an active-duty member but would not release any more information as they are still in the process of notifying the next of kin. According to Bushnell’s LinkedIn profile, he joined the Air Force in 2020 and wished to pursue a career in software engineering. No employees of the Israeli Embassy were harmed in the incident, and the MPD says they are working with the Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in their investigation.

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