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Police: Man dies following struggle with N Carolina officers

February 17, 2020 GMT

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — A man died on Monday following a struggle with North Carolina municipal officers when he became unresponsive after a stun gun was used, a police news release said.

The Hickory Police Department said Matthew D. Saunders, 41, of Lincolnton died at the scene, according to the release. The department asked the State Bureau of Investigation to review what happened. Two officers involved were placed on administrative duty.

Police said officers had gone Monday morning to a Red Roof Inn after receiving information about an individual being in possession of methamphetamine and a gun. At the hotel they found a unoccupied vehicle with an assault rifle visible between the front seats, the release said.

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They returned to the car later to find a man and woman standing near it. The man struck an officer and fled as the officers approached and gave commands, police said.

Officers pursued and attempted to take him into custody, during which a Taser was deployed, the release said, adding he became unresponsive after the struggle. Officers began CPR and called for emergency help.

Authorities later learned that Saunders was wanted as a federal probation absconder, Hickory police said. The woman was charged with firearm possession by a felon.