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An 18-year-old accused of shoplifting in Indianapolis died in police custody Saturday after twice complaining of breathing problems.

The teenager, identified as Terrell Day, died in the back of a police ambulance, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department confirmed to NBC News. Police responding to a report of an armed man at a Burlington Coat Factory store arrested Day, who they say is the suspect, a short distance from the scene.

A gun was recovered, according to police, but Day was arrested without incident.

Once Day told police he was having trouble breathing, an ambulance was called. The EMTs assessed Day, but determined he could be “taken on to processing,” NBC reports.

Day again complained of breathing difficulties when the jail wagon arrived and a second ambulance was called but his “condition deteriorated,” police said.

“Despite the best life-saving efforts by the EMS crew, the suspect died in the back of the ambulance,” the statement added.

Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services chief Charles Miramonti offered “sincere condolences” in the statement. Miramonti said a “full internal investigation” has been launched but that he was “confident the highest level of response and care was provided.”

Shanika Askew, Day’s mother, said she wants answers in her son’s death. She said Day had not been suffering from any health problems before the arrest.

An investigation continues.


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Indianapolis Teen Dies In Police Custody After Twice Complaining Of Trouble Breathing  was originally published on