37-year-old Max Azzarello from St. Augustine, Florida, was the man who set himself on fire yesterday outside the Trump trial in New York, ultimately losing his life and shocking America live.

New York police said Azzarello did not appear to be targeting Trump or others involved in the trial.

“Right now we’re characterizing him as some sort of conspiracy theorist, and we’re going from there,” Tariq Shepard, deputy police commissioner, told a news conference.

In an online manifesto he left before taking the fateful step, Azzarello said he was setting himself on fire and apologized to friends, eyewitnesses and rescuers.

In his post, he speaks of an “apocalyptic fascist coup” and criticizes cryptocurrencies and American politicians, without however specifically singling out Trump.

In a video making the rounds on the internet, the 37-year-old drives and sings: “Start a bloody revolution, you got nothing to lose.”

Before he began dousing himself in liquid the 37rhon held a placard, with a link to the American online platform Substack, where he laid out some of his political views, particularly his concerns about fraud.

He then dropped leaflets with references to US President George W. Bush and former Vice President Al Gore.

One of those leaflets contained references to “evil billionaires”, but the passages seen by a Reuters eyewitness did not mention Trump.

The smell of smoke could be felt at the scene shortly after the incident, according to a Reuters eyewitness, while a police officer sprayed the ground with a fire extinguisher. At that time there was a smoldering backpack and a gas lighter at the scene.