No charges for police in fatal Pasco shooting; inquest scheduled

Antonio Zambrano-Montes, who was shot and killed by police in Pasco, WA on Feb. 10th, in an undated family photo.
Antonio Zambrano-Montes, who was shot and killed by police in Pasco, WA on Feb. 10th, in an undated family photo.

Criminal charges will not be filed against the three officers involved in the fatal shooting of Antonio Zambrano-Montes in Pasco, the Frankling County Prosecutor announced on Wednesday.

The Feb. 10 shooting of Zambrano-Montes, who was an orchard worker from Mexico, was captured on a cellphone video. The 35-year-old man, who had a history of mental health issues, had been throwing rocks and refused arrest after one of the rocks allegedly hit a police officer. Police officers, identified as Ryan Flanagan, Adam Wright and Adrian Alaniz, chased him in front of onlookers and downtown traffic until he was shot by police more than 16 times.

Zambrano-Montes’ death was the fourth fatal shooting incident in six months in the Pasco area. The officers involved in the previous shootings also were cleared of wrongdoing.

Frankling County Prosecutor Shawn Sant said that he would not be able to prove to a jury that the officers acted with malice, according to KING 5 news. An internal investigation by local police will follow, according to reports.

Zambrano-Montes’ family said they were “not surprised but disgusted and disappointed” by the charging decision, according to the Tri-City Herald.

The Herald also reported that the Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdell announced he will hold an inquest into Zambrano-Montes’ death to help ensure that the police’s internal investigation is independent and thorough.

The state’s Attorney General’s office also will review Sant’s charging decision, after a request by Gov. Jay Inslee. The governor’s letter says that his office would have instructed Attorney General Bob Ferguson to review the decision no matter how the investigation concluded. The governor had previously called for a “complete review of all the circumstances.”

Family members of Antonio Zambrano-Montes gather outside of Pasco City Hall to protest the shooting. (Photo courtesy of Anna King / Northwest News Network)
Family members of Antonio Zambrano-Montes gather outside of Pasco City Hall in February to protest the shooting. (Photo courtesy of Anna King / Northwest News Network)

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