A popular local musician in Tennessee died after setting himself on fire while livestreaming it on Facebook and then running into a crowded bar — a scene so gruesome and confusing that some witnesses thought it wasn’t real.
Video circulating online purportedly shows Jared McLemore, 33, dousing himself with kerosene while sitting in a parking lot near a bar in Memphis at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday. After emptying the canister, it appears a bystander at the last second tried to help McLemore, who erupts in flames before running out of the frame as frantic witnesses watch and scream in horror.
“This overwhelming smell of kerosene filled the room,” musician Jim Duckworth, who had just wrapped up a set at the bar, told WREG. “Before you see anything, the smell filled the room.”
Duckworth and his girlfriend, Kim Koehler, said the scene was so shocking that some witnesses simply froze in fear — wondering if it was possibly a stunt gone awry or just part of the show.
“It looked like a movie, like someone wearing a flame-retardant suit,” Koehler told WREG. “There were some people who thought that it was a joke.”