Pasco police in the state of Washington shot and killed a man Tuesday night for throwing rocks. A video captured by a witness inside of a car was uploaded on YouTube. This video shows three police officers chasing the man across a busy intersection and then shooting him numerous times. The man did not appear to be holding anything in his hands when he was shot and killed.
Antonio Zambrano-Montes, the man who was killed by Pasco police, was last known to have resided at a homeless shelter. He apparently was battling depression after being separated from his teenage daughters. A family member made a statement saying, “We just want justice” and “It could have been avoided.” Zambrano-Montes was 35 years old.
Pasco Police Chief Bob Metzger stated that Zambrano-Montes was shot due to his threatening actions. The police chief also said that the officers used a stun gun on the man but it was not effective.
The death of Zambrano-Montes who was shot and killed by Pasco police for throwing rocks was witnessed by numerous bystanders. Dario Infante, the witness who captured the video, claims that he saw Zambrano-Montes throw rocks at the police, but the rocks did not strike any of the officers. Infante also states that, “He didn’t throw any rocks after he started running.” Another witness named Ben Patrick said the man’s back was turned as the police were shooting. The Pasco officers fired approximately 13 shots.
The Pasco police were called to the area in response to a report that a man was throwing rocks at vehicles in the intersection. Zambrano-Montes was shot and killed around five p.m.
A statement made by Washington’s ACLU said that the incident was “very disturbing.” Many people in the area reprimanded this use of deadly force. People even gathered to protest and show their concerns at Pasco City Hall on Wednesday evening.
The three officers involved were Ryan Flanagan, Adam Wright, and Adrian Alaniz. These men were placed on leave so that the incident could be investigated. This is standard procedure for occurrences like this one.
Pasco has a population of roughly 68,000 people and is one of the three cities that makes up the Tri-City area of Washington. The Tri-City Special Investigation Unit will look into what happened Tuesday evening. They will also look at the video that was captured by the witness. In the last six months the Pasco Police have been involved in four fatal shootings. Although officers have been cleared of wrongful actions in the other three cases.
Zambrano-Montes was arrested last week on a warrant. He had failed to pay court fees and fines associated with a 2014 assault case, but the man had no other records showing a criminal history. Back in January 2014 police were called when Zambrano-Montes was “making a commotion” on the front porch of a home. During this incident Zambrano-Montes also threw things including a rocking chair and a mailbox. Officers Adam Brewster and Jeffrey Cobb were at the scene. After a struggle with the officers, Cobb shot Zambrano-Montes with a Taser and then they handcuffed him. Zambrano-Montes admitted that night that he had been using methamphetamines.
The YouTube video of Zambrano-Montes showing Pasco Police killing the man for throwing rocks already has over 180,000 views. The video was not posted on this site because it contains graphic footage.
By Emilee Prado
Photo by Richard Bauer – Flickr License