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St. Louis Park nursing home resident dies after tasing

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Authorities say a 76-year-old resident at Park Health and Rehabilitation Center in St. Louis Park died of complications after police used a stun gun on him. 

The St. Louis Park Police Department said in a statement that officers were called to the center on July 14 because the resident, Zheng Diao, was wielding a knife and pair of scissors. 

Police said they used gestures in an attempt to convince Diao to put the knife and scissors down, but that Diao raised the knife to his own throat.

Officers used a Taser to prevent Diao from harming himself, according to the statement.  Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker said the shock from the electric weapon caused Diao to fall and injure his face.

Diao died on July 29 at Hennepin County Medical Center. Baker said the injuries Diao sustained after being tasered led to a condition called aspiration pneumonia, which occurs when foreign substances like liquid or saliva are breathed into the lungs.

Kristie Johnsrud, administrator of Park Health and Rehabilitation Center, said her staff "responded quickly and appropriately" by asking authorities for assistance with Diao. 

"We also reported the incident to the Minnesota Department of Health, as required by law," Johnsrud said in the statement. 

A spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Health would not say whether the agency is investigating the incident.

The St. Louis Park Police plans to ask an outside agency to investigate.