Max Azzarello dies after setting himself on fire near Trump trial in NYC - Hindustan Times
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Max Azzarello dies after setting himself on fire near Trump trial in NYC

ByAditi Srivastava
Apr 20, 2024 10:16 AM IST

Conspiracy theorist dies after self-immolation outside courthouse

Max Azzarello, the “Troubled conspiracy theorist” has passed away after setting himself on fire outside the courthouse. The Florida resident was earlier rushed to the hospital after suffering a third-degree burn. The incident, which occurred amidst a highly charged atmosphere of media coverage and public attention surrounding the trial, has shocked and saddened many. The disturbing incident took place in a Manhattan park across the streets where former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial was underway.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 18: Max Azzarello protests outside of the Manhattan courthouse where former U.S. President Donald Trump's hush money trial is underway on April 18, 2024 in New York City. Former President Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first of his criminal cases to go to trial. David Dee Delgado/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by David Dee Delgado / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)(Getty Images via AFP)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 18: Max Azzarello protests outside of the Manhattan courthouse where former U.S. President Donald Trump's hush money trial is underway on April 18, 2024 in New York City. Former President Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first of his criminal cases to go to trial. David Dee Delgado/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by David Dee Delgado / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)(Getty Images via AFP)

Who was Max Azzarello?

On April 19th, a shocking sequence of events took place as journalists waited outside of the Manhattan courthouse to cover the trial of former President Donald Trump in the hush money case. As they were detailing the case development, smoke began to billow across the street from the courthouse. As cameras panned the scene, one of them caught a man, later identified as Maxwell Azzarello, on fire while seated. Firefighters quickly responded with extinguishers to put out the blaze.

Also read: Live video of man's self-immolation outside court: How news organisations handled the coverage

The individual reportedly approached Trump supporters earlier and distributed pamphlets according to Fox News. Later, he blew up a pile of flyers that contained a link to the Substack newsletter before pouring gasoline on himself. The 37-year-old has reportedly died after suffering from a severe burn.

While the exact motive behind this extreme step has yet to be determined, an part of Azzarello's manifesto on the Substack page read, “This extreme act of protest is to draw attention to an urgent and important discovery: We are victims of a totalitarian con, and our own government (along with many of their allies) is about to hit us with an apocalyptic fascist world coup.”

Also read: Who is Maxwell Azzarello? The ‘homeless’ man who self-immolated outside Donald Trump's hush-money trial

The man reportedly traveled from Florida to NYC without informing his family. Described as a self-proclaimed "investigative researcher," he was reported to have been protesting outside the court for a long time. Post reports, he passed away shortly before 11 p.m. after being admitted to the burn unit at Cornell University.

Describing the horrifying incident an eyewitness told the outlet, “He was just standing there, and after a minute hit the ground. By the time the cops got there, all of the fuel had burnt off of his body, and you could see his skin."

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