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Actor Declared Brain Dead After an Onstage Hanging Scene Goes Wrong, Cops Investigating

Raphael Schumacher was declared clinically dead Friday following an onstage hanging scene that strangled the actor. Raphael Schumacher was declared clinically dead Friday following an onstage hanging scene that strangled the actor.

An Italian actor has been declared clinically dead after an onstage hanging scene went terribly wrong and strangled the 27-year-old man.

Raphael Schumacher had been in a coma as doctors fought to save his life, but on Friday doctors said he had no brain activity.

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The actor's family has approved donation of his organs and surgeons have begun that procedure, CNN reported.

Police are investigating the incident to determine if proper safety measures were in place.

The Italian news agency ANSA said four people were being investigated for manslaughter in Schumacher's death.

He was performing in an experimental production at Pisa's Teatro Lux. In a scene that depicted a lynching, the hooded actor was hanged from a noose.

Read: Disney 'Gaston' Performer Dies After Shooting Firework Off His Head

A medical student in the audience noticed the actor trembling and ran to loosen the rope. Another spectator helped lower Schumacher to the ground and he was rushed to a hospital.

Directors told authorities that Schumacher changed the script at the last minute from a fake gunshot to a hanging, according to an Italian newspaper.

The play moved through different parts of the theater, with spectators following on foot. The hanging scene took place in a courtyard.

Watch: Actor Shot in Groin During Historical 'Old West' Shootout Recreation

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