A Greenwood man has been hospitalized with burns over 90% of his body after he lit himself on fire during an argument with his wife at his home, according to Greenwood police.

Police responded to a call about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday from a woman who said her ex-husband had tried to kill himself by setting himself on fire. Police did not release the names or addresses of the people involved.

The woman told the responding officer that she had broken up with the man a couple of  months ago but that he would not leave. She said he had been sleeping in a shed in the yard, doing yard work during the days and drinking in the shed at night.

She told police he had been drinking heavily on Tuesday and asked her if they could get back together.

When she said no, she told police he had started to “act crazy” and put a 7-inch kitchen knife to his throat and then to his wrist.

He told the woman he was going to kill himself if she didn’t take him back. When she told him she was going to call police, the woman said he told her, “Good. I will rush them with the knife so they will have to kill me.” When she told him she wouldn’t call police, he put the knife down and picked up a gallon of gasoline that he poured over his head.

The woman told police he then asked her again if he could come back into her life, and she replied, “No, I already have someone else.” At that, he pulled out a lighter and set a piece of paper on fire, which set him on fire. She said he exploded in flames and ran to an outdoor faucet but was unable to turn it on. He ran into the house as the woman ran outside. She turned on a hose, and when he came outside again she sprayed him until the flames were gone.

The woman told police the man had been in counseling for the past year.

The police incident report says officers were talking with the woman when the man came out of the backyard, wearing jogging pants and the top half of a shirt partially covering his shoulders. The report says he was seriously burned on his chest, back, arms, hands and face, and he was having trouble breathing.

A MedStat ambulance arrived and took the man to Greenwood Leflore Hospital. Doctors there told police the man had burns over 90% of his body with damage inside his throat. He was transferred to the JMS Burn Center in Jackson.


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