Austin police ID officers involved in 19-year-old’s patrol car suicide Sunday


3:30 p.m. update: Austin police have identified the officers involved in an incident in which a 19-year-old fatally shot himself in the back of a patrol car during his arrest Sunday.

Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said Officer Iven Wall, who has been with Austin police for 10 years and seven months, was taking Zachary Khabir Anam from Barton Creek Square mall in Southwest Austin to police headquarters downtown, where he was to be booked on drug and shoplifting charges.

Officer John Ricker, who has been on the force for six years and nine months, was in a patrol car following Wall and Anam, Manley said.

Both officers are on administrative leave.

Manley provided new details about the incident at a briefing Tuesday.

He said Macy’s loss-prevention officers at the store in Barton Creek Square mall initially detained Anam.

When Austin police took Anam into custody, he was handcuffed behind his back and seated in the police patrol car with seat belts, Manley said. According to Manley, video taken from inside the car as it headed to police headquarters shows Anam telling Wall that he had suicidal thoughts. Anam pulled his arms around his body to the front and was able to pull a gun from his waistband, Manley said.

Anam used a Glock semi-automatic pistol that had been stolen from a vehicle in 2016, the chief said.

Department investigators are looking into the “the adequacy of the search” done to Anam before he was placed into the police vehicle, Manley said.

The Austin Police Department also expressed its condolences to Anam’s family, Manley said. 

"At the end of the day, we have a family who lost a son. A young son," Manley said.

Earlier: The parents of a 19-year-old who authorities say fatally shot himself while in Austin police custody Sunday afternoon in downtown Austin have issued a statement expressing love, thanks and sorrow.

Police on Monday confirmed that Zachary Anam died after being taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge, but they have not released any other details about the investigation. 

Related: Teen who shot self in police car dies; officer’s pat-down scrutinized

“Zac was a beautiful kid, who loved his family and friends very much, and was loved by them very much,” the family said in a statement to the American-Statesman on Tuesday.

According to the family, Anam was born in Connecticut, but raised in Austin. He was a member of the varsity football and wrestling teams at Bowie High School, where he graduated in 2015. 

“We are devastated by the loss of our wonderful son, and very grateful for the overwhelming outpouring from the many friends of Zac who have expressed their love of him and of us.”

Anam had been arrested on Sunday at Barton Creek Square mall in Southwest Austin on charges of possession of a controlled substance and shoplifting, according to police. 

He was being taken to police headquarters in downtown Austin for fingerprinting when he pulled a gun from his waistband and threatened to take his own life, police said.

Manley said Anam pointed the weapon at his head several times as officers tried to get him to put it down after the patrol vehicle stopped near Fifth and Lavaca streets. Police said he eventually fired one round, and died from his injuries after being taken to the hospital.


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