A cry for help. That's what a friend is saying Steven Ellam was really doing when he rammed his car into Middlesex Hospital then lit himself on fire.
Ellam recorded it all last Thursday, live on Facebook, for many to see.
A friend, Kyle Wright, said the two shared a hotel room and were together the day before. He said he’s known Ellam since they were kids, saying he’s always been upbeat.
“He's been a really good friend of mine,” Wright said.
Wright reached out to Channel 3 after he saw his lifelong friend plow into the Middlesex Hospital Emergency Department on Thursday.
“He told me I needed to go on Facebook live with him and he was going to set himself on fire and he was Jesus and to trust him and he needed to sacrifice himself and not to worry about him,” Wright said.
He added that Ellam told him he wanted him there.
“I told him I couldn't do it. I told him ‘I don't know what you're talking about man. You need to chill out. Like, please don't do that. You have so much to live for and we been friends our whole lives and I don't know why you would do this’,” Wright said.
In the Facebook live video, Ellam is seen talking and then he crashed. Ellam was also naked, and lit himself on fire.
Wright says the two reconnected recently after not talking for a while. In fact, they were sharing a hotel room weeks before this happened. Wright says he saw Ellam just a day before the incident.
“We started to hang out for a bit and he disappeared for a couple days and then he came to the warming center in Middletown and he's like ‘man we got to go. I got $10,000 and I’ll talk to you more about it, let's go’,” Wright said.
After the incident, law enforcement agencies raided Elam’s Middletown home. The FBI also talked to a Middletown restaurant owner where he worked, trying to figure out why he would do something like this.
That restaurant owner said Ellam quit a day before the incident.
Wright tells us he has talked with police.
Channel 3 asked Wright why he didn't call police or offer to get him help.
“He said he was joking and he was fine,” Wright said.
Now he says he wish he did.
“I should have helped you when I could have and I feel like I let you down. I should have called for help and you told me not too and that you were fine,” Wright said.
He added that the two were bullied in school.
Ellam remains in critical condition at Bridgeport Hospital's burn unit.
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