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Police in Washington State have confirmed that officers fatally shot a man this week because he threw rocks at them, in an incident that was captured on video and sparked local protest.
Officers in Pasco, Washington responded to a call on Tuesday evening that a man was throwing rocks at cars at an intersection, including one stone that was at least the size of a baseball, Paso Police Chief Bob Metzger said in a statement Wednesday.
The man, 35-year-old Antonio Zambrano-Montes, a father of two who worked in an orchard, allegedly did not respond to police requests to put down the rocks. Officers then reportedly tasered him, a move he was unresponsive to. They eventually opened fire on Zambrano-Montes. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officers Ryan Flanagan, Adam Wright, and Adrian Alaniz have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, Metzger said.
Video allegedly of the shooting posted to YouTube could not immediately be verified. In it, a man who may be Zambrano-Montes is seen exiting the parking lot, possibly with his hands in the air. The officers are then seen pursuing the man on foot, then shooting him.
Protesters gathered outside City Hall from around 1pm Wednesday to demonstrate the death, according to local station KNDO/KNDU.
A family member told the station that Zambrano-Montes had recently been depressed after breaking both wrists in an accident at work.
Kathleen Taylor, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington State, released a statement on the shooting death.
"This is a very disturbing incident, and our hearts go out to the family of Antonio Zambrano-Montes. Fleeing from police and not following an officer's command should not be sufficient for a person to get shot, "she said. "Lethal force should be used only as an absolute last resort. Police need to understand how to de-escalate confrontations and use force only as necessary."
Photo via Flickr