The Franklin County coroner has set a February date for the start of an inquest into the fatal police shooting of a Pasco man earlier this year.
Coroner Dan Blasdel said he plans to start the fact-finding proceedings Feb. 23 at the TRAC center in Pasco.
The inquest will be held a little more than a year after Antonio Zambrano-Montes, 35, was shot by three Pasco officers during a confrontation. The proceedings, including witness testimony, are expected to last about two weeks.
The inquest will give a citizen jury of six the chance to hear evidence and make a recommendation on whether the shooting was justified. The jury also will decide the cause and manner of death in the case.
The officers already have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing by county Prosecutor Shawn Sant. He concluded a nearly 5-pound rock that Zambrano-Montes threw at one officer and other softball- and cantaloupe-sized stones and pieces of concrete qualified as deadly weapons.
And Pasco police Chief Bob Metzger determined through an internal investigation the officers did not violate department policies.
Inquests are rare for this area and there have only been a handful in the past two decades.
Blasdel has said the inquest could add transparency in the case that prompted months of protests in Pasco and outrage from as far away as Mexico.
Sant and lawyers for the Zambrano-Montes family have spoken out against an inquest, saying it is unnecessary and likely to produce no new information.