The Seattle Police officer left their loaded rifle unattended on a patrol car outside a busy down town area today
This is the shocking picture of a fully loaded assault rifle left unattended on the trunk of patrol car in a busy Seattle street.
The bungling officers were nowhere to be seen after leaving the AR-15 on the boot of their patrol car outside a busy hotel and shopping street on Monday night.
Shockingly, after the officers returned, they failed to notice the menacing rifle and drove off.
It was only after a woman chased the car as it drove away, that the officers realised their mistake.
Passer-by Nick Gonzales, who photographed the shocking scene above, also alerted two bike cops after seeing the rifle at around 9 pm Monday night, describing them as being 'shocked as hell'.
Speaking to Seattlepi.com, Seattle Police spokesman Sean Whitcomb said: 'We'd really like to express our gratitude to Nick the Slog tipper who flagged down the bike officers and also a separate woman who alerted the driver of the patrol car that there was an unattended rifle on the car.
There is a chain of command investigation that will look into the circumstances that contributed to this incident.
'Just the fact that the rifle was left on a patrol car unattended is embarrassing, and people should expect more from the Police Department.
According to the website, Seattle police keep rifles in three states; unloaded, patrol-car ready and tactical ready.
A full investigation has been launched.
The Police officers involved - highly trained and specially selected to carry the lethal weapons - have yet to be named.
Cathryn Olson, civilian director of the Office of Professional Accountability, said: 'The incident was brought to my attention earlier this morning, and I immediately contacted SPD Command Staff.
'I learned that Captain (Joe) Kessler, the commander of the West Precinct, had already begun an investigation into the circumstances involved.
'It is unacceptable that a rifle was left unattended on a patrol car, and people should expect more from their police department.
'We are very grateful to the two good Samaritans who alerted police to the unattended rife: Nick, the SLOG tipster who flagged down near-by SPD bicycle officers who were separately responding, and a woman who followed the patrol car and alerted the driver about the rifle.