Neighbors and family of Ron Hillstrom, 44, of University Place, Washington, are now pleading for justice after witnesses who captured the incident on video say local police beat him as he cried out for help until he was dead.
"I sit here in my study room, supposed to be writing a final paper. I can't help but sit here begging God for it not to be true, begging for my uncle Ron not to be gone. It feels so wrong when the family gets together and you're not there. ... I love and miss you so so much," wrote the dead man's niece, Esprit Hillstrom, in a Facebook post.
According to a KOMO News report, neighbors in Ron Hillstrom's apartment complex said he appeared to be having some sort of episode and was walking around in a circle asking for help.
"I see four officers walking up on him and they're like, 'It's the police,' and he's like, 'You're not the police.' And he goes to run in the circle and as soon as he comes back, the police use four tasers at one time," said neighbor Ashley Patterson
Hillstrom died shortly after he was subdued.
Ed Troyer of the Pierce County Sheriff's Office said the incident is currently under review and the four officers involved had been placed on paid leave.
"Without seeing the whole entire incident in context, you're not going to know why that was happening. The officers that were there are all on paid administrative leave while we review it and look into it and determine what happened. Whether there's a way we could do it better or if somebody did something that wasn't appropriate," said Troyer.
Troyer said that the Pierce County medical examiner didn't report any blows to the head, but noted that the autopsy is incomplete.
Hillstrom reportedly also had a screwdriver in his hand at the time of the incident but he did not attack the officers with it.
His funeral service is scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 28 at River's Edge Assembly of God in Orting.