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

Wynn Alan Bruce is a climate activist and photojournalist from Colorado. On Friday 22nd April, he was airlifted to hospital after setting himself on fire on a plaza outside of the court.

50-year-old Bruce died of his critical injuries the following day. It is believed he did it to raise awareness of climate change.

At the time, Capitol police tweeted: “A medical helicopter just landed near the Capitol for a medical emergency. This is not a public safety issue.”

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On his social media page, Bruce made clear he was passionate about environmentalism and Buddhism and believed in compassion for all.

In the days before his death, a comment he had made on one of his Facebook posts about climate change was edited to include the date of Earth Day with a fire emoji, suggesting his actions were pre-meditated.

Dr. Kritee, a Buddhist priest, wrote on Twitter explaining that Bruce mediated with her group and she believed he had been planning the incident.

She 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.”

Tributes for Bruce have poured in since his shocking death, which some have called a “sacrifice”.

One person wrote: “An American Buddhist in the #Shambhala tradition has made the ultimate sacrifice to save us from self-destruction.

“Let Wynn Alan Bruce's #EarthDaySacrifice be remembered as the turning point. If not now, when will we turn from death and destruction to choose life?”

Someone else said: “His death was an act of generosity, self-sacrifice, giving his life so others might pay more attention to the degree of the threat to our climate, and what needs to be done.

“He’s a hero.”

Another wrote: “Yesterday, on #EarthDay, a man named Wynn Alan Bruce set himself on fire in front of the Supreme Court, in Washington DC.

“He gave his life so we can pay attention to our collective suicidal path. Let’s honour him.”

Another Twitter user said: “A man named Wynn Alan Bruce immolated himself on Friday in front of the Supreme Court to call attention to climate change.

“To set yourself on fire and die for a cause demands that we take the time to learn his name and think about what he stood for.”

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