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National Mall suicide was not political, family says

The suicide of the man that set himself on fire on the National Mall last week was not political, according to his family.
Posted By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   Oct. 9, 2013 at 2:15 PM   |   Comments

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Oct. 9 (UPI) -- The suicide of the man that committed suicide by self-immolation was the result of his mental illness, not his political beliefs, his family said.

John Constantino, 64, "was a loving father and husband," his family said in a statement. Constantino died days after he set himself ablaze amid the government shutdown. He set himself on fire just one day after a Connecticut woman was killed by police after a high-speed car chase near the Capitol.

The family's lawyer, Jeffrey Cox, said he is "not aware of any anti-government statements made by him or any ill will he may have had against the government."

This is a "personal family matter and not an issue of public concern.”

His neighbors said they were shocked by the death of Constantino, whom they described as friendly and happy.

Constantino had complained about the government to neighbors -- though only in terms that they said ordinary Americans would agree with.

"He said they were a waste of time, effort, and money," one neighbor said. "He said to me, 'They’re no good. They don’t look out for us and they don’t care about anything but their own pockets.'"

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