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Man in TPD custody dies of apparent drug overdose, chief says

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Posted at 1:39 PM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 18:12:49-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — A man died while in the custody of the Tucson Police Department in midtown early Tuesday morning, Chief Chris Magnus said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

The chief said in reviewing body-worn camera footage of the event, he believes none of the responding officers violated any protocols.

Magnus said it started at around 2:30 a.m. when police received a call from an elderly man at his home on the 5400 block of East Waverly Street, near Craycroft, who said someone possibly under the influence of drugs was in his backyard.

Three officers arrived at the home around nine minutes later and found 29-year-old Jesus Gilberto Gutierrez in the backyard lying on the ground. He was moving, but unresponsive, Magnus said. At that point, the responding officers called for paramedics.

Magnus said the officers found drug paraphernalia nearby as well as medication that is used to treat opioid addiction.

The officers gave Gutierrez two doses of Narcan at around 2:50 a.m., and handcuffed him. Magnus said handcuffing subjects after administering Narcan is common practice, saying those who are revived from an opioid overdose with the drug often become combative immediately after waking up.

When paramedics arrived, the officers decided to move Gutierrez to the front yard where they could more easily administer medical care. There, paramedics determined Gutierrez had no pulse and started CPR. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Watch Chief Magnus's full press conference in the player below (Warning: video contains graphic content):