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Cedar Falls Officer Involved Shooting

CEDAR FALLS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--A police officer in cedar falls fired two shots at a suspect early this morning.

It happened just before 3am near Hudson road. When it was over, both the suspect and the police officer were taken to the hospital.
It was simply an early morning routine patrol for a cedar falls police officer.

"Saw a vehicle stopped at a stop sign. The engine was running but the person in the vehicle appeared to be asleep, said Cedar Falls Chief of Police, Jeff Olson.

Cedar Falls Chief of Police says the officer saw some marijuana on the passenger seat when he stopped to check on the man.

Thats when he says the officer called for backup and asked the suspect to step into his squad car.

"But when they got to the door of the squad car, then the suspect began to assault the police officer, said Olson.

Chief Olson says the suspect 27-year-old Zach Church beat the officer severely in the face and head.

All this, less than a block away from the Iowa State Patrol Office.

"The officer was yelling at him to stop, yelled at him to stop or I'll shoot you. The officer was concerned about remaining conscious at that point did discharge his firearm, said Olson.

The shot hit the suspect.

Chief Olson says church stopped for a moment and then continued beating the officer so he took another shot at him.

"Then the suspect left and went back to his hospital. About that time, back-up officers were arriving. He was taken into custody at that time, said Olson.

The officer was taken to the hospital and released.

The suspect underwent surgery for the two gunshot wounds and is now in stable condition.

Olson says this is the first time in 28 years that an officer has discharged his firearm on duty.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is currently looking into the case.

The suspect will not be charged until he is released from the hospital, but police say charges will include felony assault on a police officer and another "drug related charge", which will be the suspect's third drug related offense.

Chief Olson also says the officer is on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.

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