Two officers are no longer on administrative leave following their involvement in a case where a teen died after shooting himself while in the back of an APD patrol vehicle.
Austin police said they have not found evidence that should keep Officers Iven Wall and John Ricker from returning to full duty. Both officers were placed on leave after Zachary Anam, 19, shot himself in their patrol vehicle Jan. 8 near 5th and Lavaca. Anam was taken into custody at Barton Creek Mall on suspicion of shoplifting when police say he began discussing suicidal thoughts. One of the officers asked Anam if he was armed, and he replied “Yes” before he pulled a gun from his waistband and shot himself. He was taken to University Medical Center-Brackenridge, where he died from his injuries Jan. 9.
Officials have said the officers either missed the weapon during a pat down or did not do one at all.
Assistant Police Chief Frank Dixon tells KVUE and Austin American-Statesman’s Tony Plohetski, "There is nothing at this point that would cause any alarm with them returning to work prior to the internal affairs investigation being complete. This incident has weighed heavily on both officers."
The investigation could be completed in the next several weeks, at which time more information could be released. Officials said it is possible the officers could still face some sort of disciplinary action, that could include more training on proper pat down procedures.