A man set himself on fire and hit his head with a hammer before falling to his death from an El Cajon roof.

Officers claimed they tried to talk the man off the roof, but when the situation escalated and he started hitting himself in the head with a hammer, they had no choice but to use force.

Original Author: CBS 8

By Malik Earnest

A 55-year-old man from El Cajon was transported to a nearby hospital on Thursday night after he fell from the roof, while inflicting self-inflicted wounds which included hammer blows, screwdriver jabs, and fire burns.

El Cajon police officers, Heartland, San Miguel and Santee fire departments received a report of a man standing on the roof of a duplex that was on fire, according to officials. They found the man frantically running around, just before 5:11 p.m., in the 600 block of East Washington Avenue in El Cajon.

Witnesses say they heard bystanders shouting at the man in Spanish to get down and that the fire department was on its way.

When El Cajon police arrived on scene, they discovered an attempted suicide by a man who was in his early 40s. He attempted to light the roof on fire and himself as well, but thankfully the police were able to stop him in time.

A man on roof was told by police to get down off the roof, but he threw the hammer in his hands and started swinging at himself about 10-15 times. The man fell off the roof after that, landing on the ground below.

When contacted by CBS 8, a Watch Commander at El Cajon police elaborated on the incident and said it looks as if drugs may have played a part.

The man set his clothing on fire and there was a large amount of evidence of an accelerant at the scene, police said. This could’ve contributed to the difficulty firefighters faced in putting out the blaze.

The victim only had stab wounds, blows to the head with a hammer, and some burn injuries. Police told CBS 8 that the victim was taken to an area hospital and treated for their wounds.

The fire didn’t do much damage to the structure.

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