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Death of man who ran into Burning Man flames ruled suicide

FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2013, file photo, the "Man" burns on the Black Rock Desert at Burning Man near Gerlach, Nev. A Nevada sheriff says the man who ran into the flames at the Burning Man festival's signature burning ceremony has died. Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen identified the man as Aaron Joel Mitchell, 41, who died Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, morning at the UC Davis hospital burn center in California. (Andy Barron/Reno Gazette-Journal, File via AP)

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- The death of a 41-year-old man who ran into the flames during the burning of a towering wooden effigy at the Burning Man counterculture festival in Nevada in September has been ruled a suicide.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reported on its Web site Friday that the Sacramento County Coroner's Office in California officially ruled Aaron Mitchell's death a suicide. The coroner listed his cause of death as cardiac arrest, bodily shock and third-degree burns over 97 percent of his body.

Mitchell died hours after he hurled past two layers of security and into the flames on Sept. 2 at the festival in the Black Rock Desert 90 miles north of Reno.

Mitchell was originally from McAlester, Oklahoma but had been living in Switzerland with his wife, Ladina.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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