A 58-year-old Wal-Mart employee who said he "couldn't take it anymore" lit himself on fire outside the Bloomingdale store where he worked late Thursday night and was later pronounced dead at a hospital, authorities said this morning.
In an interview, his son said his father went to work last night with nothing seeming out of the ordinary. "This had nothing to do with the economy. I want to make that clear," he said, adding that the family may never know the reason for the public suicide.
The Carol Stream man, who worked the overnight shift, was in a parking lot of an adjacent sporting goods store in the west suburban strip mall when he set himself on fire with lighter fluid around 10 p.m., said Randy Sater, a watch commander with the Bloomingdale Police Department.
At least 10 people, including some teenagers, witnessed the suicide and several attempted to help the man by throwing their coats on top of him in an effort to put out the flames, he said.
"He said he didn't want any help and threw the coats off," Sater said.
When one of the first officers tried to speak to the man, who by that time was severely burned, he responded, "I just couldn't take it anymore," Sater said, citing the officer's report.
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