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Seattle officer put on leave during shooting investigation

UPDATED: Mon., May 4, 2020

Associated Press

SEATTLE – Law enforcement officials placed a Seattle police officer on administrative leave during an investigation of his decision to shoot a man suspected of taking his infant daughter from her mother at gunpoint.

Officer Noah Zech is under investigation by the Seattle Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Office for his role in the April 29 fatal shooting, the Seattle Times reported Saturday.

The 35-year-old SWAT officer was one of several officers in foot pursuit of the man about 30 minutes after the initial report of the abduction in a park.

The man was shot by Zech, who was armed with a .223-caliber rifle, police said. The infant was not injured.

A video clip from an officer’s body camera released by the department shows police chasing the man through a parking lot and alongside a building, where officers confronted him. The man was holding the child when he was shot.

A handgun was found “nearby,” police said.

The shooting is being investigated by the department’s Force Investigation Team in compliance with a 2012 consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice.

It also is being investigated by the King County Sheriff’s Office following a voter initiative amended by the Legislature last year that overhauled the state’s police use-of-force statutes.

Zech has been with the Seattle Police Department for 15 years, the department said.

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