A suicidal man doused in gasoline who caught fire when police used a Taser on him last week died four days later at a Plano hospital, according to the Collin County medical examiner’s office Thursday.
Gabriel Olivas, 39, died at Medical City Plano on July 14. His cause and manner of death are still under investigation.
Police had responded on July 10 to a home in the 1600 block of Carla Avenue, where two women reported that Olivas had doused himself in gasoline and was threatening to harm himself, said Sgt. VaNessa Harrison, police spokesman.
Officers arrived, got the women out of the home and began talking to Olivas. As they tried to calm him down, Harrison said, he poured more gasoline on himself and the officers suspected he was holding a lighter.
An officer then used a Taser on Olivas “to subdue him,” Harrison said, but the man became engulfed in flames. Officers wrapped Olivas in a blanket to put out the fire.
Internal affairs detectives continue to investigate the incident.
Last week, Harrison acknowledged the risk of using a stun gun near gasoline but said Olivas was “very frantic and erratic and became a danger to everyone in the room.”
“We realize that a Taser can have some other implications, but we also know he had something in his hand,” Harrison said. “It’s unclear at this moment whether he became engulfed in flames from the gasoline and ignitable object he had in his hand or from the Taser.”
Olivas’ family could not be reached for comment. It was not clear why Olivas ended up in a Plano hospital.
Police said they had responded in the past to disturbances involving Olivas at the home.
A warrant had been out for his arrest on a charge of assault causing bodily injury of a family member stemming from an incident in January, according to Tarrant County court records.