Update in Columbia City Officer Involved Shooting Investigation

Just before 2:15 PM, SPD received a report of a man and a woman arguing at the Rainier Playfield near 37th Avenue South and South Oregon Street. The man reportedly fired a gun, and then took their infant daughter before fleeing on foot.

When officers arrived, they found a woman with significant injuries, and an expended shell casing at the scene.  She reported that the subject had assaulted her, taken their infant daughter, and fired a round at her before running into the surrounding neighborhood with the baby.  She reported that he was very intoxicated. 

Patrol Officers, SWAT Officers, K9 Units, and the King County Guardian One helicopter were dispatched to search for the armed suspect. At approximately 2:50 pm, SPD received reports that a man carrying a child had broken into a building under construction a few blocks from the park.

Officers contained the building to prevent the suspect from escaping with the baby.  Officers saw the suspect run southbound behind an apartment building and gave chase.   During a second confrontation, a rifle-trained SWAT Officer fired once at the man, striking him.  The baby was not injured in the incident. 

WARNING – THIS 911 AUDIO AND BODY WORN VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT AND MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME PEOPLE

Suspect’s firearm recovered nearby

Detectives from the Force Investigation Team (FIT) and Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) responded to the incident.  Representatives of the Office of Police Accountability and the Inspector General were also on-scene during the investigation, as were representatives from the King County Sheriff’s Office, which per established protocol will conduct an independent review. 

Officer N. Zech has been identified as the officer involved in this incident. Officer Zech has 15 years with the Seattle Police Department. He has been placed on paid administrative leave in accordance with SPD policy while the investigation is on going.

Consistent with department policy, SPD will provide additional updates as information becomes available.