Wynn Bruce: Climate activist dies after setting fire to himself outside Supreme Court

·2-min read
Wynn Bruce (Facebook)
Wynn Bruce (Facebook)

A climate activist has died from his injuries after setting himself on fire outside the Supreme Court on Earth Day.

Wynn Bruce, a photojournalist and Buddhist, committed the act of self-immolation on the steps of the Supreme Court plaza in Washington DC having posted cryptic social media comments alluding to a fire on the same day years before.

The 50-year-old from Boulder, Colorado was airlifted to a hospital where police said he died on Saturday from his injuries.

Friends claimed that his act was not suicide but a “fearless act of compassion to bring attention to climate crisis” but Supreme Court Police said that they were still investigating the man’s motive.

He sparked the fatal blaze on the plaza in front of the Supreme Court building around 6.30 pm on Friday - known as Earth Day

The US Supreme Court (Getty Images)
The US Supreme Court (Getty Images)

No one else was injured in the incident.

A Buddhist priest from Boulder said she knew Bruce and said he had been planning his death for at least a year.

“This guy was my friend. He meditated with our sangha [Buddhist community],” Dr. K. Kritee wrote.

“This act is not suicide. This is a deeply fearless act of compassion to bring attention to climate crisis. We are piecing together info but he had been planning it for at least one year.”

This theory was backed up by an ominous Facebook comment Mr Bruce left in 2020 that included a fire emoji and the date of his death, 4/22/2022.


Neighbours told Denver7 that they are unsure how Bruce made it to Washington since he was unable to drive. They said a childhood accident left Mr Bruce with an injured leg and head injuries

Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22, and is a reminder to protect the environment, restore damaged ecosystems, and to live a more sustainable life.

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