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Elderly Oklahoma Man Dies After Setting Himself, Home Ablaze During Eviction

Elderly Man Dead After Deputies Tried Serving Eviction Notice
Source: Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

Authorities say the elderly man poured gas on himself and the home before setting it on fire.

Apr. 7 2024, Published 10:03 a.m. ET

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An elderly man in Oklahoma has died after police say he lit himself on fire while they were serving an eviction notice.

On April 1, two deputies were serving the notice to an elderly couple at a home in Oklahoma City, according to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.

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Sheriff Tommie Johnson III said one of the deputies had been working with the couple to find them housing and had secured an extended-stay facility for them. An Uber was reportedly waiting outside the residence to transport the couple.

When the deputies first entered the home, they were met by the wife of 82-year-old Anthony Goulding in the living room, officials said, noting she battles Parkinson’s disease and has limited mobility.

The deputies then spotted Goulding pouring gasoline on the floor in front of himself, according to police.

One of the deputies tackled Goulding, who then allegedly pulled out a lighter and lit himself on fire before throwing a gas can at one of the deputies, “briefly setting her on fire as well.”

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The sheriff’s office released body camera footage of the incident, which can be seen here.

The deputies returned to the living room and pulled Goulding’s wife out of the home and to safety, authorities said.

One of the deputies then attempted to go back inside to save Goulding, but the house was engulfed in flames and smoke.

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Johnson said that “serving eviction notices can be dangerous,” adding that two years ago a local deputy was killed and another injured “when they were ambushed while serving eviction papers.”

The two deputies involved in the most recent incident were placed on paid administrative leave. Spokesman Aaron Brilbeck told The Oklahoman, “Obviously they are dealing with psychological trauma.”


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