Man brain dead after suffering cardiac arrest during struggle with Aurora police

AURORA– An Aurora man, 23-year-old Elijah McClain, is brain dead after his family says the Aurora Police Department took a weekend incident too far.

“We got a call from the hospital saying Elijah had another heart attack and they need to have a meeting about taking him off life support. According to them, he has been dead since Saturday,” said Naomi McClain, Elijah’s sister.

The hospital would not confirm these details.

“I want people to remember Elijah as Elijah. He was a ball of energy, always there, always uplifting you, giving you gratitude, respect all the time. His motto was “always with gratitude,” stated Naomi.

According to a press release from APD, police say the incident happened Saturday night on Billings Street near East Colfax Avenue. A call came in about a suspicious person who was wearing a ski mask and waving his arms.

Police say when officers arrived, they made contact with the suspect. The release goes on to say he resisted, they struggled, and then officers took the man into custody.

That’s when police say they called Aurora Fire Rescue for medical attention because of “the level of physical force” and his “agitated state.”

The release also says AFR claims they gave him a standard medication used to reduce agitation and while he was being transported to the hospital, he suffered cardiac arrest.

On Wednesday, some Aurora police officers were placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is being investigated.

The Denver Police Department and the district attorney’s office are also involved in the investigation.

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