A general view of the Rikers Island facility on June 6, 2022.
CNN  — 

A New York City correction officer has been fired after an inmate died in the city’s Rikers Island jail, according to a Tuesday statement from the city Department of Correction.

The inmate, identified as Elijah Muhammad, 31, was found unresponsive in his cell and declared dead on Sunday night, according to the statement from DOC Commissioner Louis Molina.

“It is heartbreaking when someone dies while in custody. We treat every death with the utmost seriousness and understand that it is our mandate to keep every person entrusted to our care safe,” Molina’s statement read. “A preliminary review of this incident required that we take immediate action against the staff involved, and an officer was terminated.”

The chief medical examiner has not yet determined the cause of Muhammad’s death, according to the statement. CNN has reached out to the city medical examiner’s office for details on Muhammad’s autopsy.

It was not clear what part of the investigation led to the officer’s firing. CNN has reached out to the union for city correction officers for comment.

Muhammad’s death is at least the ninth death of an inmate in DOC custody inside a city jail so far this year. A 10th death is not being counted by DOC officials because the inmate was found hanging in his cell, but later died at a local hospital.

The city is roughly on pace with 2021 when 14 inmates died in city jails. This was also the year a DOC captain was charged with criminally negligent homicide after allegedly not helping a detainee as he hanged himself in a cell. The inmate was being held at Manhattan Detention Complex.

The year 2021 also had the highest number of inmate deaths since 2016, when 15 inmates died. Before that, the year with the highest number of inmate deaths was 2013, when 24 deaths were recorded.

CNN’s Mirna Alsharif contributed to this report.