Police in Upper Macungie Township, Pennsylvania, attempted to save a 27-year-old man who was being suffocated by a pet boa constrictor in his home last week by shooting the reptile, but the man succumbed to his injuries on Sunday, the Lehigh County Coroner announced.
Elliot Senseman, 27, died from an anoxic brain injury due to asphyxiation by constriction, meaning that the snake completely cut off oxygen to his brain, the coroner said.
Police were called to the home last Wednesday afternoon around 2 p.m. Officers found Senseman lying on the floor with the snake wrapped around his neck and shot the animal in the head to free him, according to Fox 29 Philadelphia.
"The head of the snake was actually far enough distance away from the victim that an officer was able to shoot the snake, at which point he did, and the snake kind of started to slither off," Upper Macungie Township Lt. Peter Nickischer told the local news outlet.
"Had he not done that, I don't know how they would have released the male from the grasp of the snake."
The snake died from the gunshot wound. Other snake enclosures were also found inside the home.
Senseman was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital and was pronounced dead Sunday at 8:11 a.m.