Officials identify man who drove into Middlesex Hospital, lit se - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Officials identify man who drove into Middlesex Hospital, lit self on fire

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Sources say Steven Ellam drove a car into Middlesex Hospital and lit himself on fire (WFSB/Facebook) Sources say Steven Ellam drove a car into Middlesex Hospital and lit himself on fire (WFSB/Facebook)
Steven Ellam (Facebook) Steven Ellam (Facebook)
Police are investigating the suspect's home on Milardo Lane in Middletown. (WFSB) Police are investigating the suspect's home on Milardo Lane in Middletown. (WFSB)
A car slammed into the ER at Middlesex Hospital. (WFSB) A car slammed into the ER at Middlesex Hospital. (WFSB)

Officials have identified the name of a man who reportedly drove a car into Middlesex Hospital and lit himself on fire Thursday morning.

It happened at the emergency room entrance on Crescent Street in Middletown, around 10 a.m.

The hospital was placed in an "emergency operations mode," hospital officials said.

According to Middletown Mayor Dan Drew, the act was intentional. He added that gas cans were found in the suspect's car.

On Thursday afternoon, Mayor Drew identified the suspect as 27-year-old Steven Ellam, of Middletown.

Ellam drove into the emergency department entrance, and then lit himself on fire. Sources told Channel 3 he was naked when this happened.

The Life Star emergency helicopter was dispatched to the scene to bring Ellam to Bridgeport Hospital's burn unit. He is reportedly in critical condition.

"At this time, we don't believe there is any threat to the community and we believe this to be an isolated incident," Drew said.

Police said no threat was made to the hospital before this incident.

On Thursday afternoon, the mayor said there is no motive at this time, but the "people of Middletown are safe."

See photos from the scene here.

The Connecticut State Police Bomb Squad was called to the scene, and several fire departments were called for mutual aid.

Officials said a security guard was taken in for treatment for smoke inhalation, but everyone else in the hospital was safe and accounted for.

Ellam is known to police, according to Drew:

Mayor Drew said investigators are at a home at 66 Milardo Ln. in Middletown, believed to be connected to the hospital incident.

It is believed that Ellam lives at the home where yellow police tape now surrounds it.

Neighboring homes were evacuated as a precaution.

Channel 3 saw the FBI at the home, which was keeping those nearby at a safe distance. The bomb squad also showed up with two bomb-sniffing dogs.

“We put the TV on and saw the accident at the hospital and then saw your car drive by and said that's Carlos' house. The original owner,” said Lou DiMauro, of Middletown.

Neighbors say the house was sold to someone else, and they don't really know these neighbors.

Ellam has an extensive criminal history in the state, dating back to 2008.

He was convicted of driving under the influence, criminal mischief, and the most recent conviction was assault two years ago.

In 2013, he was found guilty of trying to strangle someone.

On Thursday, the FBI also went to his place of employment—Illiano’s in Middletown.

The owner told Channel 3 that Ellam worked there for nine months, up until Wednesday when he quit.

A business owner at Sweet Harmony says he hasn't worked there for a year and a half.

Both business owners say they didn't have a problem with him.

Drone 3 was in the air above the hospital. See the footage here.

Ellam took to Facebook Live to broadcast the series of events on Thursday.

With wide eyes behind the wheel of his car, Ellam stared into his phone while broadcasting live on Facebook and asks a strange question

“Donald Trump, where are you? My name’s Jesus Christ. I’m in Middletown, Connecticut. I’m here, I’ve come to expose you as the anti-Christ,” he’s heard saying in the video.

Ellam continues to make a series of bizarre comments directly to his Facebook friends.

“The one percent they’re trying to brain wash me to attack the police. For I don’t even know how long,” he continues to say.

Th drive ended with violence, but no one watching live on Facebook could have ever guessed that would happen, as Ellam was sitting naked in his car.

“I know that you are—you are—a one percenter. And I’m going to attack one of your headquarters. Right now. Middlesex Hospital. It’s not safe. Death to the Illuminati,” he’s heard saying.

Ellam eventually turns the camera around and plows directly into Middlesex Hospital.

In the video is the sound of gasoline being poured followed by shouts as Ellam lights himself on fire. Eventually all you see are flames, and all you hear are screams.

After the video was broadcast live it was shared an unknown number of times. Channel 3 was told Facebook has been taking the footage down. 

We reached out to Facebook about what steps they take to remove shocking footage but they did not provide any specifics. We also asked police about the video but did not receive a response.

Eyewitnesses described what they saw at the hospital on Thursday morning.

“I heard a noise," said Gary Mills, an eyewitness. "I was in my room. I put my shoes on and looked out the window and I saw all the smoke coming out. I said 'something is happening over there.' My sister got up. We went outside and we saw all the flames and then over this side I see this guy screaming, he was screaming! I said, that guy's on fire."

On Thursday evening, the state's Department of Public Health said it will deploy part of its field hospital to Middlesex to assist while the emergency department is closed.

The emergency department will remain closed while federal and state officials investigate the scene and the damage is repaired.

“First and foremost we are relieved that no hospital staff or patients were injured in this incident.  DPH will be providing Middlesex Hospital with three sections of the State’s mobile field hospital to serve as a temporary Emergency Department until they are back up and operational.  We anticipate that the field hospital will be operational by the morning,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino.  “We are very fortunate as a state to have this invaluable asset at the ready to ensure continued care and treatment for Connecticut residents when catastrophes, accidents or other events occur that inhibit our hospitals’ abilities to provide health care services.”

Ground video was streamed to the Channel 3 Facebook page here.

Refresh this page and watch Channel 3 for updates.

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