Officer who shot Wash. man dragged him away from fire

Published 9:04 am Wednesday, April 22, 2015

SEATTLE — One of the officers who killed an immigrant farmworker in Washington state in a shooting that helped fuel the nationwide debate over police use of force had dragged the man away from his burning rental home just weeks earlier.

Antonio Zambrano-Montes, who in another case had pleaded with police to kill him, was sitting on the ground in January in a meth-induced trance near the fire when Officer Adam Wright found him, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press under public records requests.

Weeks later, Wright and two other officers shot Zambrano-Montes after he had been throwing rocks in a busy intersection. Video footage that showed the man running away, then turning around with arms outstretched just as police unloaded, prompted months of protests. He was the third person killed by Pasco officers within six months.

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The documents obtained by the AP shed new light on Zambrano-Montes’ run-ins with police and his erratic, sometimes dangerous behavior.

While Pasco police said their officers generally receive more training than state standards require, records show only a half-dozen had taken an extended course on dealing with people in the throes of drug-abuse or mental health crisis — fewer than other departments in the region.