Max Azzarello, A 37-Year-Old Protester Against Trump, Confided In Friends About His Intention To Become A Martyr Just Days Before Immolating Himself Outside The NYC Hush Money Trial

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Max Azzarello, A 37-Year-Old Protester Against Trump, Confided In Friends About His Intention To Become A Martyr Just Days Before Immolating Himself Outside The NYC Hush Money Trial

A man has passed away after setting himself ablaze outside the New York courthouse where Donald Trump’s hush-money trial is underway.

The New York City Police Department announced on Saturday that the man had been pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Initially in critical condition, the man, identified as Max Azzarello from St. Augustine, Florida, by the NYPD, did not seem to be targeting Trump or any individuals associated with the trial.

Witnesses recounted the man removing pamphlets from a backpack, tossing them in the air, and then dousing himself with a flammable substance before igniting it on Friday.

While one of the pamphlets mentioned “evil billionaires,” there were no explicit references to Trump visible to a Reuters witness. Tarik Sheppard, a deputy commissioner with the NYPD, described the man as a “conspiracy theorist” during a press briefing.

Following the incident, a faint smell of smoke lingered in the plaza, and a police officer used a fire extinguisher at the scene.

Although the trial’s first day attracted a crowd of protesters and spectators to the heavily guarded downtown Manhattan courthouse, the number of attendees has since decreased.

Authorities are reassessing security measures in the vicinity, with the street where Trump enters and exits the building now restricted.

“We may have to shut this area down,” said Kaz Daughtry, the New York City police department deputy commissioner, adding that officials would discuss the security plan soon.

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