By Paul Thompson
A student has died after being shot with a Taser by campus police.
Everette Howard, from Cincinatti, went into cardiac arrest after being struck by the stun gun after police were responding to reports of an assault.
The 18-year-old, who was due to attend the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky, was said to have approached a campus police officer with clenched fists.
Authorities at the University of Cincinnati said he was told to remain still, but continued to walk towards the campus officer.
Everette was struck once by the Taser which can discharge an electric shock of up to 50,000 volts.
When he collapsed to the ground the officer checked his condition, and in his report said he appeared incoherent and seemed to have an ‘altered mental status’.
Paramedics attended the stricken student and while they were with him he went into cardiac arrest. He was later pronounced dead at hospital.
Two investigations have been launched because of the incident.
An internal investigation will look into the use of force by the officer, who was immediately placed on mandatory administrative leave.
University chiefs have also suspended the use of Tasers until it can determine what caused the teen’s death.
Everette, who was a stand out wrestler at his school, had been attending college preparatory classes at the University of Cincinnati.
He is said to have finished in the top ten per cent of his class this Spring.
The university’s assistant police chief, Jeff Corcoran, said campus police were called to a the Turner Hall dorm room in the early hours of the morning over a report on an assault.
When they arrived they saw Everette who police said appeared angry and agitated.
Corcoran says officers ordered the teen to back off, but he refused. He was then hit once by an officer’s stun gun.
An autopsy has been ordered.
The second investigation is trying to determine what initiated the original 911 call and whether an assault has taken place.
There have been no arrests or criminal charges filed.