Kaysville, UT – Four police officers are speaking out after they were injured while rescuing a suicidal man who set himself on fire inside a gas station (video below.)
Kaysville Police Department Officers Robert Jackson, Lacy Turner, Cade Bradshaw and Sergeant Shawn McKinnon spoke at an April 12 news conference and gave their reaction to what happened, according to KSTU-TV.
The police were called to the scene on April 5 after a man doused himself in gasoline and was holding a lighter in his hand while inside the convenience store restroom.
The officers said they tried to de-escalate the situation by talking to him and offering him help. Officer Jackson said negotiations broke down. Officer Jackson said he waited for the man to close the lighter and then he lunged for him.
“I remember grabbing him and kind of wrestling him,” said Officer Bradshaw. “I heard the sound of fire going up and it got extremely hot and we made a mad dash to get out.”
Sgt. McKinnon said it was brave to try to get the lighter out of the suicidal man’s hand but it sparked.
Surveillance video released by the police showed a flash of fire. The police officers scrambled and the burning man ripped his clothes off and lunged into the store shelves.
The officers acted quickly to put out the fire. Officer Turner took a fire extinguisher to the man.
A deputy took a rubber mat to beat out the fire on Officer Jackson.
“Both my legs and my calves are third-degree burns. They will be having to do surgery on them. My left arm was burned from my wrist to my shoulder,” Officer Jackson said at the press conference over video from his hospital bed, KSTU reported.
The Kaysville Police Department gave an update April 7 on their officers. Officer Turner and Sgt. McKinnon received minor burns and were back to full duty. Officer Bradshaw received more severe burns and was home recuperating with his family, the police said.
Officer Jackson was recovering at the University of Utah Hospital and was optimistic he’d be able to return to duty.
The man who set himself on fire is in critical condition at the University of Utah Hospital’s burn unit.
You can see the surveillance video below: