The jury in a coroner’s inquest has ruled that three Pasco police officers were justified in the shooting death of a Mexican man in 2015 that sparked protests in the agricultural community. The six-member jury, called by Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdel, decided Wednesday that the officers legally used deadly force against 35-year-old Antonio Zambrano-Montes. Previously, local, state and federal prosecutors had already declined to pursue criminal charges against the three officers.
Zambrano-Montes was shot when he refused to stop throwing rocks and large chunks of concrete at passing cars and police in downtown Pasco in early 2015. The shooting was captured on video and sparked weeks of peaceful protests. Blasdel insisted on holding a coroner’s inquest to ensure transparency in the facts of the shooting.