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Man dies in hospital after setting himself on fire on Sproul Plaza

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Senior Staff

MARCH 01, 2023

Update 3/6/2023: This article has been updated to reflect the man’s death in a hospital Friday.

Several eyewitnesses reported a man attempting to self-immolate on Sproul Plaza on Wednesday evening.

Sam Lockhart, a campus junior, recalled seeing a man on fire “running down” Telegraph Avenue, alleging that the man was on fire. Lockhart added that the man was followed by people holding fire extinguishers.

The people successfully extinguished the man on the border of campus on Bancroft Avenue, in front of Eshleman Hall. Lockhart said the man was shouting for people to “get away.”

The Berkeley Fire Department responded to the scene and carried the man to a hospital, according to a UC Berkeley WarnMe. Lockhart added that the man appeared to be injured.

Berkeley Mental Health was also in proximity, the WarnMe reads. Furthermore, several good samaritans attempted to provide aid to the individual on fire. One person sustained injuries and was taken to a hospital.

Following the man’s removal, UCPD officers temporarily cordoned off portions of Sproul Plaza and Telegraph Avenue with police tape. Scraps of cloth were visible throughout the scene, along with fire extinguishers. The tape has since been removed.

As reported by the Berkeley Scanner, the man died in the hospital Friday. He was identified by the San Francisco medical examiner’s office as Chet Bohrer of Salt Lake County in Utah, with no known campus affiliation.

Mental health services are offered to students and staff members who witnessed the event in the WarnMe.

Contact Kavya Gupta at  or on Twitter


MARCH 06, 2023