NEW: Attorney issues statement in officer-involved shooting - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

NEW: Attorney issues statement regarding officer-involved shooting suspect

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

An attorney representing the man shot by a Cedar Falls police officer early Christmas morning issued a statement Saturday regarding the shooting and his client's condition.  Zach Church was shot by Officer Bob Anderson of the Cedar Falls Police Department after police say Church started punching Anderson.  Police say Anderson was investigating why Church's car was parked at the intersection of Hudson Rd. and 2nd St. with Church reportedly asleep at the wheel.

Church's attorney, Ben Bergmann, issued this statement Saturday afternoon:

"Mr. Church underwent emergency surgery following the shooting on Christmas. We hear that one  shot passed 5 millimeters from Zach's aorta, another passed 5 millimeters from his spine.  Yesterday, doctors attempted to remove the ventilator from Zach, but based on his reaction, he was sedated and intubated again. It should come as no surprise that he will be in the hospital for some time to come.  We all pray for his speedy recovery.

We also thank the DCI for its prompt investigation of Officer Anderson to determine his justification for shooting Zach at least twice.  We hope for a speedy, but thorough, investigation of the events leading up to Officer Anderson's decision to pull and fire his sidearm at Zach. It is still unclear if Zach was shot in a manner consistent with Officer Anderson's version of events as reported by the Cedar Falls PD, or if the incident played out differently, perhaps even including shooting Zach in the back. Zach's friends, family, and acquaintances unanimously state that Zach has no history of violence; his criminal record supports that conclusion. I look forward to hearing the DCI's report on Officer Anderson's past use of force, justification for doing so, and his past history of discipline to see if his history comports with his version of events.  We have begun our own investigation as to what occurred on the night in question, and based on the results of that investigation, we will act accordingly.

At this point, until we learn more, we will focus on Zach's recovery.  We thank everyone who has contacted us to support Zach."

 

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