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Seattle Police Investigate Unattended Rifle

SEATTLE --

The Seattle Police Department said Tuesday it is launching an internal investigation into an AR-15 rifle that was left out in the open on the trunk of a patrol car.

The rifle was spotted by a passerby who took a picture of the rifle and sent it to The Stranger, which posted the photo on Slog, its blog, Tuesday. The man who sent the photo told Slog that there were no officers nearby when he passed by and saw the rifle.

"There weren't any officers around the car," Seattle police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb confirmed. "It's very embarrassing. There's really no excuse how this came to be, and we have initiated a chain-of-command investigation to determine the circumstances that led up to it."

Despite persistent questioning, Whitcomb said almost nothing about the number of officers involved, where they were and when and how the rifle ended up on the car.

"The chain of command is going to take a look and see if any corrective action is necessary," Whitcomb said.

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