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Man with shotgun shoots himself on I-84 in Hartford after van bursts into flames

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HARTFORD - Both sides of I-84 were re-opened near Exit 46 and 48 in Hartford Friday afternoon after 2 p.m. , after a bizarre incident Friday morning.

i84 car fireThe Hartford Fire Department responded to a van fire around 10:30 a.m., and while on the scene a man shot himself.

Usually, when there are car fires, officials are notified right away because there is so much traffic in the area, State Police Trooper Tyler Weerden said, so crews were there right away.

When firefighters arrived they found the driver walking away from his car on the side of the road and asked if they could help, according to Hartford Fire Lt. Paul Ortiz. The man waved them off. When he turned around, they noticed a shotgun strapped to his body, and he pulled the trigger with the gun aimed at himself..

The man is alive and was taken to St. Francis Hospital, and is being treated for the self-inflicted gunshot wound.

His last known address was in Bristol, but police have not yet released his identity.

Police said that at the time of the initial incident there were also reports of suspected gunfire in the area. It is unknown if those reports were in fact gunfire, ammunition in the vehicle exploding or the sound of vehicle components exploding due to the fire.

Due to the nature of this incident and out of an abundance of caution, an explosives ordinance robot was used to clear the van before firefighters approached to extinguish the fire.

There is no word yet on what caused the initial fire.

State Police ask that anyone who witnessed the incident or believes they may know something about it to call them at 860-534-1000 or text “TIP711 w/ info” to 274637. All calls and texts will remain confidential.

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