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Tucson prison suicide is 4th in Arizona in 3 months

An inmate at state prison in Tucson was found dead Friday, an apparent suicide, Arizona officials said Monday.

Dirk Vandeveer, 32, was found hanging by a sheet in a shower area, Arizona Department of Corrections officials said.

Staff at the Whetstone Unit of the Arizona State Prison Complex here performed first aid on Vandeveer until paramedics arrived, but he was pronounced dead after being taken to a local hospital, officials said.

Vandeveer was sentenced in a Maricopa County court in August 2018 to 30 months in prison on drug charges, department records show. He had previously served prison sentences for drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest convictions.

Last week, another inmate was found dead by hanging in a state prison in Florence. There have been four inmates to die by suicide in Arizona prisons in just three months. Last year, there were seven suicide deaths in state prisons.

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Dirk Vandeveer