Officers were sent to the 400-block of School Street just before 4 a.m. They found 26-year-old Eugene Gibson clothed in a T-shirt and pajama bottoms rolling around in the middle of the road.
Police said - at the request of medical workers - they held Gibson's wrists while firefighters held his legs so medical workers could check him out.
A department spokesperson said within 30 to 60 seconds, Gibson's condition appeared to stabilize and officers let go of his wrists.
But while the medical assessment continued, Gibson appeared to go into cardiac arrest and he died on the way to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
Police said no force was ever used on Gibson, but a full investigation is underway to learn why he died.