Officials Investigating Officer-Involved Shooting in Cedar Falls

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By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - A Cedar Falls police officer was involved in a shooting early Wednesday morning near the intersection of West 2nd Street and Hudson Road.

Cedar Falls police said around three a.m. Officer Bob Anderson spotted a car at the intersection with its engine running and an unresponsive driver at the wheel. When Anderson checked it out, authorities said he found 27-year-old Zach Church asleep inside.

"He went up to the vehicle, he turned the vehicle off and then woke the driver up. He also noted some marijuana on the passenger seat," said Cedar Falls Police Chief Jeff Olson.

Anderson called for backup, then brought the 6'2", 270 pound, man to the squad car. Police said while Church was being placed inside the vehicle he began throwing punches, hitting Anderson in the face and head. The two ended up on the ground, with Church on top.

"The officer was concerned about remaining conscious and warned the person several times that he was going to shoot and the guy kept assaulting him. He did shoot," said Olson.

Police said Church stepped back for a moment, but then started assaulting Anderson again, who in turn fired again.

Officials couldn't say how many total shots were fired, but said Church was treated for more than one bullet wound at a local hospital. At last check, he was in stable condition.

Anderson was also taken to a local hospital and treated for bruises and cuts. He was released later that day.

Chief Olson said Church is facing felony assault of an officer and drug charges.

Anderson has been placed on paid administrative leave, which officials said is standard police procedure when an officer involved shooting occurs.

The investigation has been turned over to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
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