A young man allegedly attempted to overdose and burn himself to death on Saturday evening, sharing the horrifying suicide attempt on a live video stream.
Identified as “Stephen,” the 20-year-old, believed to be a Canadian student, first threatened to end his life on 4chan, a photo-sharing platform that allows users to post anonymously.
But that’s not the only disturbing part of the story. After he announced his intentions, 200 people signed up to watch his death on a live stream — and some of his peers even reportedly helped him set up the video feed, according to the Daily Mail.
“This is it. Tonight I will be ending my own life,” he posted on Saturday. “I’ve been spending the last hour making preparations and I’m ready to go through with it.”
Archived video of the incident (you can see it here) appears to show the young man swallowing a handful of pills, drinking vodka and then lighting a fire in his bedroom and crawling under the bed as the smoke begins to spread.
The Daily Mail reported that Stephen typed “#imdead #omgimonfire’ and ’I’m f**k3d’” before rescue workers converged on the residence and stopped the blaze.
Reaction to the suicide attempt was varied. While some encouraged Stephen and gleefully watched the footage unfold, others reportedly told the young man to stop. And still others have contended that the entire incident was staged.
Exactly where the incident occurred is unclear, though there has been speculation that “Stephen” is a student at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.
A statement on the university’s website confirmed that there was a fire on campus Saturday night involving a male student who was subsequently admitted to the hospital with “serious but non-life-threatening injuries.” Officials believe that the fire was deliberately set by the unnamed student.
“The university is aware that there is disturbing social media activity circulating about this incident,” the statement said. “U of G would like to remind its community members that counselling services are always available to assist students and employees, especially during times of distress.”
Canada.com reported that the attempted suicide was “likely” broadcast from the university, though this has not been independently confirmed.
Vice President for Student Affairs Brenda White told the Daily Mail that the university has not yet spoken with the man whose room was ablaze as he recovers in the hospital.
“He can’t talk to anyone at the moment. His mom is with him and we may be able to talk to him in the next day or two. He’s going to be in a fragile state,” she said. “We’re respecting his privacy and need to recover.”
(H/T: Daily Mail)