Police officers who fatally shot a Mexican farm worker in Washington state after he pelted them with rocks fired 17 shots at the man, striking him five or six times, police said on Wednesday, in an incident that has fueled protests.
Antonio Zambrano-Montes, 35, an unemployed orchard worker from Mexico’s Michoacan state, was killed earlier this month in Pasco, a city of 68,000 residents in Washington state’s agricultural heartland, in a shooting captured on video.
His death sparked protests by demonstrators who accused Pasco police of overly aggressive tactics in dealing with the Hispanic community and who likened the shooting to two high-profile police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and in New York City.
Police said that officers responding to a report of a man throwing rocks at passing cars shot Zambrano-Montes after he began pelting them with rocks and ignored commands to surrender. They said a stun gun had also failed to subdue him.