WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Vincent Nett, the student who set himself on fire in the cafeteria of Standley Lake High School last month, died of his injuries Sunday evening, the Westminster Police Department confirmed.
Nett, a 16-year-old sophomore, used a one-gallon can of Coleman fuel to burn himself. Officials do not believe he intended to injure anyone else in the incident.
“We do believe that this was a suicide attempt we don’t have any indication at this point that there was a threat against Standley Lake High School or any other school in Westminster,” Westminster Police spokeswoman Cheryl Spottke said.
“I saw this explosion happening in the lunch room,” student Leif Samson said. ”Everyone started running out screaming, ‘Fire!’ I just grabbed my backpack and ran upstairs, and I looked out the windows overlooking the cafeteria. That’s when I found out it was a guy on fire.”
Two employees used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire quickly, but not before Nett suffered severe burns. One of the first emergency responders estimated he had third degree burns over 80 percent of his body.
“This is just such a tragedy,” Jefferson County Schools spokesperson Lynn Setzer said. “Our hearts and our prayers go out to the family and to the school community and to the students who were here (that) morning.”
Investigators later searched Nett’s home, where they learned about a suicide note posted on Facebook that claims he had been planning his own public death for years.