A musician in Memphis, Tennessee, died in hospital after setting himself on fire in a suicide that was livestreamed on Facebook Live. The horrific video showed a shirtless Jared McLemore, 33, sitting cross-legged on the ground outside Murphy's Bar in Midtown Memphis where his ex-girlfriend was working, on Saturday (13 May).
He then walks out of the frame before running back into the shot about a minute later. Next, he picks up a can of kerosene, pours it on himself and sets himself on fire. Screams of witnesses can be heard in the background.
Witnesses said he was on fire from head to toe as he ran screaming towards the crowded bar. "It looked like a movie, like someone wearing a flame-retardant suit," one witness, Kimberly Koehler, told WREG.
Many patrons reportedly attempted to douse the fire by throwing shirts, coats and blankets in an attempt to save him.
McLemore was rushed to a local hospital where he succumbed to his severe burns. One man who tried to stop him was reportedly admitted to a hospital with second degree burns.
The graphic video posted to Facebook has since been taken down.
McLemore's ex-girlfriend Alyssa Moore watched the horrific scene from just a few feet away.
According to a GoFundMe page set up for Moore, she is a self-employed sound engineer who was running the soundboard at the bar that night. It was her first time at work after McLemore broke into her home and "threatened her with a gun" the week before. He also reportedly attacked her months before "almost killing her".
The GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Moore's bills, therapy, damaged equipment and time "away from the public eye" to recover from the incident. It has already raised more than $24,800 since Sunday, over its initial goal of $6,300.
People familiar with McLemore reportedly said he struggled with mental illness and had a history of domestic violence. According to court documents obtained by WREG, McLemore was arrested for trying to strangle Moore in August 2016. He was sentenced to probation for domestic violence charges last month and was ordered to undergo mental evaluations. Moore also had an active restraining order against him.
Just days before the incident, he wrote "Erased and forgotten" on his Facebook page.
"That night, unknown to Alyssa, Jared stalked her to her work," the page reads. "Jared approached Alyssa and mumbled something about 'goodbye', then grabbed her arm and wiped it on his chest to show he was covered in kerosene."
Later, he walked outside, doused himself with more kerosene and set himself alight.
The page details how McLemore reportedly ran for Moore as she helped people get back inside the bar. She tried to hold him off by keeping the door closed until the heat "finally became too much for [her] to stand," and she ran.
"Jared ran inside Murphy's repeatedly, declaring that 'she made me do this' while the remaining patrons watched in horror and used anything they could to try to save him and keep the entire bar from going up in flames," the page reads.
The latest horrific incident comes as Facebook faces fierce criticism over graphic videos uploaded to and livestreamed on its site. In recent months, a disturbing trend has cropped up with people broadcasting disturbing acts on Facebook including suicides, rapes, torture and murders.
Facebook recently said it was hiring 3,000 additional people to review such content.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Jared McLemore," Facebook said in a statement to WREG. "We don't allow the promotion of self-injury or suicide on Facebook. We want people to have a safe experience on Facebook and we work with organisations around the world to provide assistance for people in distress."
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