Trump trial: Man dies after setting himself on fire outside courthouse

Maxwell Azzarello, 37, has died after setting himself on fire outside the New York courthouse where Trump is due to stand trial. Credit: St. Johns County Sheriff's Office

A man who set fire to himself outside the court where Donald Trump is on trial has died, according to US media reports.

He was rushed to hospital in a critical condition but was later pronounced dead, New York Police Department said.

NBC News has named the man as Maxwell Azzarello, from St Augustine in Florida, who had joined a designated protest area for pro and anti-Trump demonstrators on Friday.

He walked into the park across the street from the New York courthouse where the former US President is on trial, throwing flyers into the air.

The jury had just been seated when Maxwell Azzarello set himself on fire. Credit: AP

In a press conference on Friday, New York Police Department (NYPD) said he then took out a canister from his backpack, believed to contain an accelerant, and poured the contents over himself before setting himself alight.

At least one person used a fire extinguisher to try to put out the blaze, before emergency crews rushed a person away on a stretcher.

NYPD says there are no public safety threats.

A full jury of 12 people and six alternates had been seated in Trump’s hush money case just minutes earlier, drawing the first criminal trial of a former US president a step closer to opening statements.

Former US President Donald Trump has been charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records. Credit: Christine Cornell/AP

Trump has been charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records, stemming from reimbursements made to his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen for hush money payments he made before the 2016 election to an adult film star alleging an affair with Trump.

He has pleaded not guilty and denied the affair with Stormy Daniels.

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