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Autopsy: Wake deputies shot mental patient in back

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – An autopsy report says Wake County sheriff’s deputies shot an unarmed mental patient four times, including once at point-blank range in the back.

Jonathan Lee Cunningham was killed March 31 after authorities say he scuffled with a deputy and stole his cruiser while being transported from Raleigh to a psychiatric hospital. The 35-year-old from Durham then led officers on a car chase before fleeing on foot into the woods.

The state medical examiner’s report released Monday says Cunningham was shot in the chest and back, with the shot to the back fired at such close range a ring of gunpowder residue surrounded the wound. He was also struck in the back with a stun gun.

A spokesman for Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison did not respond to messages seeking comment.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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