A Connecticut man has been arrested and accused of crashing his car into a hospital before setting himself on fire, as reported by NBC Connecticut.
Steven Ellam, 27, is alleged to have rammed his car right into Middlesex Hospital on Thursday morning, just before 10 a.m., with the suspect setting himself on fire as soon as he stepped out of the vehicle.
Gary Mills, who lives across the street from the hospital, said he saw it all happen and spoke to reporters afterwards.
“Just heard an explosion. I got up, looked out the back window and then I looked at the hospital and that’s when I saw the car in there, and then I saw a guy come running out,” he said.
Mills added that the man was “on fire, screaming for mercy and he just kept screaming and screaming and some guys ran up to him, threw something on him, put him on the gurney.”
Ellam’s motive was unclear at first, but Middletown Mayor Dan Drew has stated that he believes it was an isolated incident.
We will be holding a press conference at noon regarding the emergency at Middlesex Hospital. At this time we don't believe there is any threat to the community and we believe this to be an isolated incident.
— Mayor Dan Drew (@MayorDanDrew) February 22, 2018
Still, authorities are taking no chances, with Drew noting that federal and local authorities have been called in to clear out the suspect’s home and look for anything suspicious, such as a bomb. Officers did find flammable liquid while searching the suspect’s car, as reported by Hartford Courant.
Ellam was airlifted to another hospital and, according to reports, is currently in critical condition. Aside from Ellam’s burns, a security guard was admitted to the hospital with minor smoke inhalation. Patients were evacuated and moved to other areas of the hospital.
The suspect has long been known to local authorities, with a criminal record going back several years.
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