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SEATTLE -- The Seattle Police Department says they are very embarrassed after an assault rifle was left unattended on the back of a patrol car Monday night.

First published by The Stranger, Nick Gonzales snapped a picture of the menacing-looking rifle on the trunk of a Seattle Police car.It was around 9:00 p.m. and the car was parked outside the Roosevelt Hotel, near Pine and 7th Avenue, with no police officers in sight, said Gonzales.

In addition, after an officer got back into the patrol car, it was driven away with the rifle still on the trunk.

A woman also saw the rifle and followed the car to try to get the officer's attention.

Gonzales said he flagged down two other SPDofficers on bicycles to tell them what he saw. As he described, they were shocked as hell.

Two more witnesses also alerted police to the situation.

Police aren't saying how the incident unfolded, but sources told KING 5 News what likely happened: one officer, identified as Officer William Collins, was loading or unloading the car in the secured area of the West Precinct and placed the rifle on the trunk of a squad car next to it before walking away. Then, a second officer, identified as Lt. Deanna Nolette, got in that car and drove to the Roosevelt Hotel. She parked the car, still unaware of the rifle on top of the trunk. Witnesses saw her at a nearby Starbucks.

In response, the director of the SPDOffice of Professional Accountability said in a statement, It is unacceptable that a rifle was left unattended on a patrol car and people should expect more from their police department.

The commander of the West Precinct has begun an investigation, said the SPD.

Seattle Police said some sort of discipline or change in policy is likely to come from the incident.

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