Inmate death investigated in Pender County

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The death of an inmate in Pender County is under state investigation and an internal review.

The Pender County Sheriff’s Office says at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday, a detention officer making rounds found Zachary Bruns, 18, unresponsive. The sheriff’s office says jail staff immediately started medical care and called for EMS, which took Bruns to the hospital.

Bruns, of Currie, was released from custody Saturday while in the hospital. He died Monday.

Because Bruns was found unresponsive while in custody, Sheriff Carson Smith has asked the SBI and District Attorney Ben David to investigate what happened. The sheriff’s office says an internal investigation is also underway and that preliminary indications are that the detention officers on duty followed state rules and sheriff’s office guidelines.

Bruns was in jail on a probation violation. The NC Department of Corrections website shows Bruns was placed on probation last year after being convicted larceny and alcohol possession/consumption. Bruns also had several pending drug and alcohol-related cases in Pender and New Hanover counties.

Categories: Pender

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