Italian actor Raphael Schumacher, known most for his theater performances, was pronounced brain dead Thursday evening after a scene went horrible wrong. He was reportedly attempting a last-minute stunt when the incident occured.
Italian actor Raphael Schumacher left brain dead at 27 after a horrific on-stage accident. pic.twitter.com/sODHMTGxdP
— Caitlyn Hitt (@nyltiaccc) February 5, 2016
According to Us Weekly, Schumacher, 27, was doing an experimental show, titled "Mirages," at Pisa's Teatro Lux. An italian newspaper, II Giorno, reported that he had decided at the last minute to include a suicide scene in the production. He had initially planned to die by fake gunshot, but allegedly opted for the hanging without alerting the play's directors. A medical school graduate was in the audience watching the play and is said to have attempted to help Schumacher down after realizing that something wasn't right. She reportedly ran on stage to loosen the noose around the actor's neck with the help of another unidentified person. Schumacher was then transported to Pisa's Cisanello Hospital where he underwent a lengthy proceedure. He was later pronounced brain dead, and his family made the decision to donate his organs.
"The family and the prosecutor's office have both authorized that his organs be donated, but there removal will be subject to medical assesment to be performed in the course of the night," the statement, shared with BBC, read.
A CNN report claims others working on the production had no knowledge of the hanging having been written into the play. Still, Schumacher's mother and others close to him do not believe he intended to take his life. An investigation has been launched into his death, though it is in it's earliest stages. According to ANSA, two directors and two stage technicians are being investigated in connection with Shumacher's death. It is being looked at as a potential homicide as authorities claim safety procedures on the set were not up to par. An actor working on the play told The Independent that the situation was baffling to him, adding that some things just didn't add up.
"The noose should have been fake and a harness should have caught him if he fell. I cannot explain how an incident like this happened," he said.