Man dies after setting himself on fire on Facebook Live

Paul Garner, a well-know local political activist, was the person trying to assist a man who died Saturday after setting himself on fire on Facebook Live and running inside a Midtown bar.

Garner, organizing director at the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, received second-degree burns, but was talking about the incident on Facebook later Saturday.

"I'm okay, at the hospital, but I'll be fine. Just some second degree burns," Garner posted at 1:58 a.m. Saturday.

According to police, a man widely identified on social media as Jared McLemore, a Memphis musician and music engineer, was found with severe burns shortly after midnight Saturday in the 1500 block of Madison.

An unidentified witness at Murphy's, a bar, said the man ran inside on fire and the bartender used an extinguisher to put out the fire.

Police also found a second person who they said tried to kick away a lighter from the man who set himself on fire.

Police did not identify either the man who set himself afire or the second victim, but he was identified as Garner on social media. On his own Facebook page, Garner posted the 1:58 a.m. message from the hospital.

In a second post, at 6:52 p.m. Saturday, Garner thanked supporters before saying the incident was "entirely preventable" if police had responded appropriately to a man "reported as a danger to himself and others by many people ...."

"I appreciate everyone's support," Garner told supporters. "It has been overwhelming. I'm trying to rest and process still so I'm going to be laying low."

Police have made no comment except the statement Saturday with basic details of the incident.

Garner was among those named earlier this year on a list of people requiring an escort at City Hall.

Meanwhile, a gofundme page has raised more than $21,000 for Alyssa Moore, identified as McLemore's ex-girlfriend. The gofundme page also identifies Garner as a Murphy's patron who "tried to stop Jared and ended up hospitalized with second degree burns."

Commercial Appeal


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