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Man who died in custody had heart attack

Posted at 11:22 PM, Sep 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-28 23:22:13-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- The man who died in the back of an ambulance after being arrested had a heart attack, leading to his death, according to the Marion County coroner.

Terrell Day, 18, of Indianapolis, died in the back of an ambulance after being arrested by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Cumberland Police Department early Saturday afternoon around 12:54 p.m.

Police responded to a report of a person with a gun in the 10200 block of East Washington Street. When they arrived, officers learned a loss prevention officer at Burlington Coat Factory confronted Day, who was shoplifting, according to police. Day then allegedly pointed a handgun and ran from the store. 

The loss prevention officer followed Day to a parking lot. A Cumberland police officer saw Day lying in a grassy area behind a gas station at the intersection of East 10th Street and North Mitthoefer Road. When Day saw police, he surrendered and was taken into custody without incident. A handgun was found next to him. 

Day told officers he was having trouble breathing, and an ambulance was requested. The EMS crew assessed him and determined he could be transported to the Arrestee Processing Center via jail wagon.

Department of Public Safety officials said Day then signed a waiver declining medical attention.

When the jail wagon arrived, Day complained again of breathing problems. A second ambulance was called, and the suspect's condition became worse. Day died in the back of the ambulance. 

The coroner said there was no penetrating trauma, and that the cause of death was natural.

"The Indianapolis EMS family would like to extend our sincere condolences," IEMS Chief Charles Miramonti, MD said in the press release.

"We have already launched a full internal investigation, and, at this time, are confident the highest level of response and care was provided."

Homicide detectives and Crime Lab personnel responded to process the scene and conduct interviews.