Firefighters in New York discovered the burned remains of a prominent local attorney who reportedly self-immolated in an effort to call attention to environmental concerns.
According the New York Daily News, 60-year-old David Buckel left a suicide note near the site of his death at the edge of a park in Brooklyn.
According to his explanation, he used “fossil fuel” to stage the “protest suicide,” citing the accelerant as a metaphor for the ecological damage against which he was demonstrating.
“I apologize to you for the mess,” Buckel reportedly wrote.
A typed letter was left arranged with his business card along with his suicide note.
The documents were found inside an envelope addressed to “the police.” It had been left in a shopping cart a short distance from the site of Buckel’s death.
In addition to a record of ecological work, the lawyer had also been a well-known advocate for marriage equality and other LGBT-rights issues.
Officials say it was the former cause he referenced repeatedly in his letter, along with the Tibetan tradition of protest suicides similar to that reportedly causing his death.
After citing the issues he hoped to bring attention to, reports indicate Buckel concluded with his hope that his would be “an honorable death that might serve others.”
Much of the surrounding area was closed by police as officers processed the scene. Witnesses who discovered the grisly aftermath before the arrival of firefighters were taken aback by the extent of the burns.
“We were a little freaked out,” one jogger told reporters. “It took us a little while to process it.”
[Featured image: David Buckel/Associated Press]