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Sheriff: Inmate at Cherokee County, N.C. Jail dies within hours of being arrested

On Wednesday, 30-year-old Joshua Shane Long of Blairsville, Ga. was arrested on charges of resisting a public officer, simple possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Hours later, he was rushed from the North Carolina jail to a Tennessee hospital, where he died. (Images provided by family, MGN)

UPDATE (July 18):

The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office has released a statement concerning the death of Shane Long.

The CCSO says Long was "non-combative" while he was at the detention center. He was placed in a holding cell in the detention booking area.

According to the release, Detention Officers saw Long conscious and alert at approximately 11:12 p.m.

Two minutes later at 11:14 p.m., Long was found unresponsive in his cell. Detention Staff started life saving measures and contacted Cherokee County Emergency Communications. Jail staff continued life saving measures until Cherokee County EMS arrived and took Long to a Life Flight Air Ambulance. He was flown to a Tennessee hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The CCSO says an autopsy was conducted on Friday July 13th. The preliminary verbal report says there is no obvious cause of death and no signs of trauma was found.

A toxicology exam is underway. The release says a cause of death cannot be determined at this time.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is interviewing witnesses, reviewing jail video surveillance tapes and officer's reports.

This is developing story. Depend on NewsChannel 9 to bring you any updates as they become available.


ORIGINAL STORY:

Authorities in North Carolina have identified a man they say died just hours after being arrested and booked into Cherokee County Jail.

The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office says that around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, deputies responded to Wolf Creek community after reports that a man was acting irrationally.

Once there, deputies arrested 30-year-old Joshua Shane Long of Blairsville, Ga. on charges of resisting a public officer, simple possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Long was booked and taken put in a cell at the Cherokee County Jail on $1,000 secure bond.

The CCSO says just after 11 p.m., Long was found unresponsive in his cell, and detention staff began life-saving measures.

Cherokee County EMS tranported Long by Life Flight Air Ambulance to a Tennessee hospital, where authorities say he died.

Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased. We are cooperating fully with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and will continue to do so until we know how this happened.”

The State's Bureau of Investigation is handling the case.

This is a developing story - depend on us to keep you posted as we learn more.

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