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Police investigating death of man after his arrest

Murray police are investigating the case of a man who died shortly after being arrested.

Murray police are investigating the case of a man who died shortly after being arrested. (Novikov Aleksey, Shutterstock)

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MURRAY — The case of a man who died shortly after being arrested is being reviewed by Salt Lake police and the Salt Lake County District Attorney's' Office.

On April 8, a Murray police officer attempted to stop a vehicle for an undisclosed reason, according to a search warrant affidavit. The driver, later identified as Sean Masters, 52, pulled over in an apartment complex, 4950 S. State Street, but then ran after getting out of the car, the warrant states.

Masters scaled a fence and crossed a small creek as the officer ran after him. He reached Intermountain Medical Center, 5121 Cottonwood Street, before giving up.

"Once on property Sean surrendered and laid prone in the roadway on IMC property," according to the warrant.

The officer placed handcuffs on Masters without further incident.

"According to witness and assisting officers, shortly after Sean was taken into custody he began to state he was having difficulty breathing. He was placed on his side in the recovery position and medical was called. Sean was then sat up by officers in an attempt to help him breath(e) easier. According to assisting officers, Sean went limp and became unresponsive. Medical personnel arrived and Sean was transported to the IMC Emergency Room where Sean died," the warrant states.

Although police do not believe there was anything suspicious about Masters' death, because he died after being taken into custody, an officer-involved critical incident protocol was invoked. Salt Lake City police were called to conduct the investigation. Once their investigation is completed, it will be turned over to the district attorney's office.

According to the warrant, detectives who went back to search Masters' vehicle found a bag believed to contain methamphetamine. An autopsy determined Masters "had heart conditions, including atherosclerosis," the warrant states. But a manner and cause of death were not immediately determined pending additional information from police.

In 2019, Salt Lake City police had a similar case when a shoplifting suspect, who was already having medical issues when officers arrived, died after having handcuffs placed on him. Because he was placed in handcuffs and later died, an officer-involved critical incident protocol was invoked. The district attorney's office determined that case did not warrant criminal charges.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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