Washington D.C.: U.S. Air Force Member Succumbs to Injuries After Fiery Protest

A U.S. Air Force member, identified as Aaron Bushnell, has passed away from injuries sustained after setting himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., officials confirmed on Monday.

According to a U.S. Air Force spokesperson, the 25-year-old airman died overnight. However, the spokesperson refrained from officially naming him, citing the ongoing process of notifying next of kin.

Officials were still in the process of contacting family members on Monday. They indicated that they would wait 24 hours after completing the notifications before officially announcing Bushnell’s death, stated the Air Force representative.

A spokesperson from the Metropolitan DC police also confirmed Bushnell’s death to The Post but did not provide details about when or where he succumbed to his injuries.

A disturbing video, live-streamed on Twitch on Sunday afternoon, appeared to capture the serviceman, dressed in uniform, standing in front of the embassy and identifying himself as a member of the U.S. Air Force.

“I will no longer be complicit in genocide [in Gaza]. I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest,” Bushnell reportedly said before dousing himself with an unknown liquid and setting himself ablaze. Throughout the ordeal, he repeated the chant “Free Palestine.”

Just before his act of self-immolation, Bushnell posted a final message on Facebook, saying, “Many of us like to ask ourselves, ‘What would I do if I was alive during slavery? Or the Jim Crow South? Or apartheid? What would I do if my country was committing genocide?’ The answer is, you’re doing it. Right now.”

The post included a link to the Twitch livestream, which was later removed for violating the platform’s community guidelines.

Further scrutiny of Bushnell’s social media revealed that he followed two Ohio-based anarchist groups — Burning River Anarchist Collective and Mutual Air Street Solidarity. He also endorsed the Kent State University chapter of the radical pro-Hamas group Students for Justice in Palestine.

In the now-deleted video of the airman’s fiery protest, he was sprayed with a fire extinguisher before firefighters arrived to transport him to the hospital with life-threatening injuries around 1 p.m. Initially listed in critical condition, Bushnell succumbed to his injuries.

No embassy staffers were harmed during the fire, according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as reported by GLZ Radio. The ministry also stated that Bushnell was not known to the embassy prior to the incident.

Bushnell served with the U.S. Air Force for nearly four years and was stationed in San Antonio, Texas, according to his LinkedIn profile. He worked as a software engineer while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Southern New Hampshire University.

Describing himself as an “aspiring software engineer with a wide breadth of experience in web development,” Bushnell worked for two years in IT and web development for Paraclete Press, a Brewster, Massachusetts-based publisher of Christian books and music, where his mother, Danielle Bushnell, is employed.

Aaron Bushnell’s father, David Bushnell, 57, has worked as a construction supervisor with an architectural firm headquartered in Orleans, Massachusetts, for the past decade.

The Metropolitan DC Police, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the incident.