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Colorado Springs man's in-custody death ruled a homicide

Posted at 2:47 PM, Jul 24, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS — The death of a Colorado Springs man during an arrest in May has been ruled a homicide, officials said this week.

Officers used a Taser on Chad Burnett, 49, during the incident and Burnett died suddenly. The El Paso County coroner ruled that because Burnett's death happened during a physical altercation with the officers, including the use of a Taser, that his death was a homicide.

The coroner also listed cardiac hypertophy, myocardial fibrosis and acute psychotic episode as associated factors in Burnett's death.

Officers responded about 9:55 a.m. on May 24 to a weapons display call for service in the 2700 block of Ashgrove Street, where a caller reported a disturbance between neighbors and Burnett.

Officers contacted Burnett — who was 6-foot-8, 220 pounds, according to the coroner's report — and tried to arrest him, but he resisted and a physical altercation ensued, according to a news release from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

An officer used a Taser during the incident, but Burnett was still struggling with the officers, authorities said. When officers gained control of him, he "became limp," the sheriff's office said. Officers performed CPR on Burnett but he was unresponsive and died at the scene.

Five officers were involved in the incident and were placed on administrative leave. It was not immediately known Thursday whether the officers had returned to work.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office has turned over their investigation to the District Attorney for review.