AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Central Texas man who pulled a handgun from his waistband while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car talked about suicide before fatally shooting himself, authorities said Tuesday.
As 19-year-old Zachary Khabir Anam was being driven to jail following his arrest Sunday on suspicion of shoplifting and possessing a controlled substance, he began having conversations with Officer Iven Wall about suicide and his concerns he was suicidal, Austin interim police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference.
"Officer Wall again let him know there would be services and counselors available to him at the jail. At which point he made a comment somewhat to the effect he wasn't sure he could wait that long," Manley said.
Anam managed to pull his arms around his right side, grabbed a handgun hidden in a rear waistband and pointed the weapon at his own head with threats to shoot himself, Manley said.
Wall stopped the car and after a brief standoff in which the officer ordered Anam to drop the weapon, he shot himself.
The confrontation was recorded on the dashboard camera of a police patrol car that had followed Wall and was driven by Officer John Ricker.
Manley declined to comment on whether Anam had been properly searched as Wall has not yet been interviewed by investigators.
"There are still questions we are still working through as we conduct this investigation," Manley said.
Wall and Ricker have both been placed on administrative leave.
The police department has very strict policies that require officers to search individuals taken into custody even if they have been searched and handcuffed by private security officers, Manley said. Anam had initially been detained by security officers with a Macy's store.
The gun that Anam shot himself with was a Glock .380 semi-automatic pistol that had been reported stolen in a burglary of a vehicle that occurred in Austin in 2016, he said.
Manley said the police department has offered its condolences to Anam's family.
Anam had a prior criminal record, including a 2016 drug possession charge.