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Police in Washington said Wednesday they are trying to determine why a special education teacher died after being taken into custody by security guards at an apartment building in his neighborhood.

Alonzo Smith, 27, of Washington, died early Sunday. Officers responded to a report of an assault in progress at the Marbury Plaza apartment building in southeast Washington around 4 a.m., according to an incident report. When they arrived, officers found Smith handcuffed in a second-floor hallway in the custody of security guards working there, but he was unconscious and not breathing.

Officers summoned medical aid and began CPR. Smith was taken to a hospital, where police said he died.

Beverly Fields, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Washington, said Wednesday that an autopsy on Smith’s body had been done, but the cause and manner of death were pending.

Attorney Karen Silver, who represents Smith’s family, said Smith lived in the neighborhood of the apartment building.

In addition to teaching, Smith had recently gotten a few modeling jobs, she said.

Smith’s mother is “heavily grieving” and is frustrated at the lack of information she have received about how her son died, Silver said.

The company that provides security at the Marbury Plaza Apartments, which Silver identified as Blackout Investigations, has not told Smith’s family the names of the security workers involved.

“We would like to have some answers,” Silver said.

A woman who answered the phone at Blackout Investigations but refused to identify herself said the company’s lawyer had advised the firm not to give out any information.