Man, 26, Who Was Allegedly Punched by Tenn. Security Guard, Dies After Nearly 3 Weeks in Coma

Austin Turner was allegedly involved in an altercation with a security guard at a popular Nashville bar on Feb. 18 and suffered severe brain injuries

<p>Gofundme</p> Austin Turner


Austin Turner

The man who police say was assaulted in February by a security guard at the popular Nashville, Tenn., bar Tin Roof has died.

Austin Turner, who turned 26 while in a coma, died on Thursday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after suffering severe brain injuries that he sustained during what police are calling an "altercation."

According to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, Richard Cornelius, 36 — who was a licensed security guard at Tin Roof on Demonbreun Street — struck Austin, "causing him to fall to the ground unconscious" in the early morning hours of Feb. 18. Security footage allegedly shows Cornelius swinging numerous times before hitting Austin, WSMV reported, citing police.

Austin suffered a skull fracture, subdural hematoma, massive strokes and received an emergency craniotomy, according to a GoFundMe created for his family. He was in a coma for nearly three weeks.

Cornelius was charged with aggravated assault, but has since been released on a $25,000 bond. According to a statement from MNPD, detectives are now "in conversation with the District Attorney’s Office about subsequent charging decisions." PEOPLE previously reached out to the lawyer representing Cornelius who declined to comment.

<p>Metropolitan Nashville Police Department</p> Richard Cornelius

Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

Richard Cornelius

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“I know in my heart of hearts that my son was not doing anything that provoked this kind of attack,” Austin's stepmother, Meagan Turner, previously told WSMV.

While speaking to WKRN, Meagan said that doctors told the family that Austin would most likely not survive his injuries, which prompted them to make the difficult decision to take him off life support on Tuesday. She added that they were told his injuries were "devastating and irreversible and irrecoverable."

"Despite Austin's valiant struggle for survival, his injuries proved to be fatal," Austin's mother, Brandi Maynard, said in a statement to The Tennessean. "Because of the reprehensible actions of a security guard, my son spent the final 16 days of his life, including his 26 and final birthday, in an irreversible coma. No mother ever expects to outlive and bury her children and as a mother, the depth and breadth of my grief are beyond measure."

Tin Roof CEO Bob Franklin previously told PEOPLE in a statement that Cornelius is no longer employed by Tin Roof. "Aligning with the investigation, he is no longer with our team," Franklin said.

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