Arizona jail inmate dies after corrections officers use Taser on him multiple times
Aug 25, 2022, 8:00 PM
PHOENIX — An Arizona jail inmate died last week after corrections officers used a Taser on him multiple times while trying to subdue him, authorities said Wednesday.
Wade Welch, 37, died on Aug. 16, a day after he was booked into the Pima County Adult Detention Complex in Tucson for domestic violence and other counts, the Pima Regional Critical Incident Team said in a press release.
The PRCIT, which is made up of investigators from multiple agencies, including the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and Tucson Police Department, is handling the death investigation.
Corrections officers were trying to move Welch to a different housing unit when he allegedly became contentious and refused to enter his new cell, the PRCIT said.
Several officers used Tasers on Welch three times during a struggle, including once when the device was placed against his skin.
They were able to put Welch in a spit hood and handcuffs before walking him to another level of the unit, where they tried to get him into a restraint chair. But he allegedly became combative again.
A corrections officer then put a Taser on Welch’s leg and activated it, the PRCIT said. Welch became unresponsive, and life-saving measures failed to revive him. He was pronounced dead after the Tucson Fire Department arrived.
The Tucson Police Department is leading the investigation as part of the PRCIT. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department will handle a separate internal affairs investigation into the corrections officers’ actions.