Officials said the uniformed police officer encountered the man while using a bathroom in a campus building at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday.
According to authorities, the officer suspected the man was smoking marijuana. The man then took off running and the officer gave chase.
When the officer caught up to him outside the building, a struggle followed. The suspect took the officer's weapon, authorities said. Police say a roundiwas "ejected" from the gun, but not fired.
Two witnesses came to the officer's aid, and they helped him subdue the man, who turned out to an off-duty employee at the school.
The suspect went into cardiac arrest after getting handcuffed, officials said.
He was rushed to Richmond University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
The officer also sustained minor injuries in the scuffle. He was taken to State Island University Hospital for treatment.
The incident sparked rumors of a shooting on campus. The school issued a statement to the students to clear up the confusion:
"To The Campus Community:
Early this afternoon, an incident between an off-duty employee of the College of Staten Island Auxiliary Services and a member of the NYPD has resulted with both individuals being transported to a local hospital. Contrary to rumors that may have been circulating, no shots were fired. There is currently an active official NYPD investigation being conducted near parking lot six on the north side of campus, and the college's North Loop Road is closed until further notice."