“He was strapped with some homemade incendiary devices (and) firecrackers, and doused himself with some kind of flammable liquid” before lighting the fireworks, he said.
Several loud explosions were heard, and a trooper quickly put out the fire with an extinguisher, according to authorities.
Troopers said a disgruntled veteran set himself on fire using fireworks and gasoline outside the Georgia State Capitol.
Watts was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital with burns over 85 to 90 percent of his body, Perry said.
No other injuries were reported.
The Capitol and judiciary buildings were evacuated. Workers were forced to move children from a day care associated with Central Presbyterian Church to a neighboring Catholic church as a precaution, according to officials.
A bomb tech empties a car of all its contents, hours after a disgruntled Air Force veteran set himself on fire Tuesday morning outside the Georgia Capitol. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM
The area has been secured, Atlanta police said on Twitter.
All roads in the area were reopened by 6:15 p.m., according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.
Multiple agencies were on the scene earlier. The GBI emptied the car and bomb techs examined the contents.
— Staff writer Chris Joyner contributed to this article.
Capitol police keep civilians back as bomb techs search the car of a protesting veteran who set himself on fire. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM