'Conspiracy Theorist' Who Set Himself On Fire Outside Trump Trial Dead

By Jason Hall

April 20, 2024

Jury Selection Continues In Former President Donald Trump's New York Hush Money Trial
Photo: Getty Images

Max Azzarello, the "conspiracy theorist" who set himself on fire outside former President Donald Trump's hush money trial, has died, police confirmed via the New York Post late Friday (April 20) night.

Azzarello, 37, of Florida, succumbed to severe burns he suffered after self-immolation during a protest in which he threw a stack of pamphlets in the air, doused himself in fuel and ignited a lighter inside Collect Pond Park. The self-described "investigative researcher" made the trip to New York City from Florida without his family knowing and had protested both Democrat and Republican leaders in front of the Manhattan courthouse during the ongoing trial.

“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,” Azzarello wrote in part of a rambling manifesto on the Substack page via the Post.

First responders reported to the scene and rushed Azzarello to a nearby hospital where he was initially reported to be in critical condition before being pronounced dead at 10:30 p.m. on Friday. Florida police claimed Azzarello was suicidal and unemployed prior to the incident.

William Schoeffler claimed to have spoken to Azzarello minutes before witnessing the incident.

“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,” Schoeffler said via the Post. “He didn’t make too much noise, he was very quiet. Pretty horrifying.”

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