Oak Park Heights corrections officer's death ruled a homicide

Joseph Parise died shortly after helping with an inmate assault.
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The death of a Oak Park Heights corrections officer shortly after helping a colleague who was being assaulted by an inmate has been ruled a homicide.

The ruling came from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner on Friday, relating to the death of Joseph Parise, 37, last month.

His official cause of death was coronary artery syndrome and heart disease, but the medical examiner has ruled his death a homicide, which is the legal definition for when someone's death is caused by another.

Prior to his death, Parise had rushed to help a fellow officer who was being assaulted by an inmate at the maximum security prison.

He later collapsed after returning to his post, before dying at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

The medical examiner's office told MPR that the homicide ruling is unusual for this type of case, but added her office ruled it a homicide after reviewing the autopsy findings along with evidence from the Department of Corrections.

The funeral for Parise, a Navy veteran and former firefighter from Forest Lake, was attended by hundreds of mourners at Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel.

Parise's death came after another corrections officer, Joseph Gomm, was killed by an inmate at MCF-Stillwater in July.

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