Governor Jay Inslee will not appoint a special prosecutor in the Pasco police shooting death of Antonio Zambrano-Montes.
The Governor announced the decision in a letter to Consejo Latino chairman Felix Vargas.
Consejo Latino had asked Inslee earlier this month to remove Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant from the investigation. Vargas said Sant appeared too close to local law enforcement and couldn’t rule on the case objectively.
Inslee said in the statement he was “deeply troubled’ by the shooting and his office will continue to monitor the investigation by a team of local police.
County prosecutors have the legal duty and moral obligation to prosecute crimes in their jurisdictions, Inslee said.
“I do not believe that prosecutors should be absolved of this responsibility absent very specific, tangible and compelling reasons, and I am not confident that those reasons have been established at this point in the ongoing investigation,” Inslee said in the statement.
Zambrano-Montes was shot at 17 times by three Pasco officers after he threw at least one rock in their direction, authorities say. He died at the scene on Lewis Street in Pasco.
Police say Zambrano-Montes was not carrying a gun or knife, though a rock was found near his body.