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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

February 12, 2015 at 12:30 PM

A look at 4 previous police shootings in Tri-Cities

The fatal shooting by Pasco police Tuesday is the fifth involving law enforcement officers in the Tri-Cities since June 27, according to media reports and court records.

Two of the previous shootings involved Pasco police officers while a third was by a Benton County sheriff’s deputy working as part of a regional SWAT team. The fourth involved police from Kennewick and Richland.

All of the officers involved in the previous shootings were cleared following investigations by the Tri-City Special Investigative Unit, comprising area law enforcement officers.

The Tri-City Special Investigative Unit is also looking at Tuesday’s fatal shooting of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, 35, on a busy intersection after he reportedly threw rocks at passing cars and police. The three officers who opened fire on Zambrano-Montes have been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, according to Pasco Police Chief Robert Metzger.

Here’s a look at the previous shootings:

• On June 27, three police officers shot and killed Aaron T. Wright, 32, of Kennewick, after he reportedly pointed a pellet gun at officers, according to the Tri-City Herald.

Wright had led officers on a 30-minute chase, at times leaning out the driver’s-side window reportedly putting the pellet gun to his head. Wright later abandoned the car and ran into a Kennewick apartment.

He was shot once in the head after walking outside with the pellet gun.

The officers involved in the shooting were two from Kennewick, Joshua Kuhn and Jose Santoy, as well as Richland police Sgt. Wayne DuBois.

Wright also was involved in a four-hour standoff in 2010 with authorities in Pasco.

• On July 9, Rick R. Howard, 49, was fatally shot by a Tri-City Regional Swat Team member during a four-hour standoff in Pasco.

Authorities say Howard fired more than 70 rounds at officers, including some from a high-powered rifle, before he was shot on the front porch of his home by Scott Surplus, a Benton County sheriff’s deputy and SWAT sniper.

Howard had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit and was suicidal when he was shot, according to media accounts.

• On July 29, Brad D. Jensen, 34, died after he was shot several times by two Pasco police officers when he reportedly refused to drop a knife.

Police were summoned to a home around midnight after someone reported a man was brandishing a knife. Pasco police Capt. Jim Raymond told the Herald it was unclear whether Jensen was threatening anyone or was inside a home.

Pasco officers Steve Thatsana and Nathan Carlisle confronted Jensen and opened fire when he refused to drop the knife.

Court documents show Jensen’s address was on the same block as where he was shot, the Herald reported.

Jensen was the son of a former Pasco police detective and city councilman.

• On Sept. 24, Pasco police Officer Tony Haworth shot and killed Matthew L. Stoddard, 25, when he pointed an Airsoft pistol in Haworth’s direction.

According to media accounts, Stoddard led police on a short chase while driving a stolen car before hitting a curb and jumping out. Haworth found Stoddard hiding under a parked car armed with the realistic-looking BB pistol.

Stoddard ignored commands to show his hands and threatened to kill himself. Haworth fired five times, with two bullets hitting the felon in the head.

Toxicology reports showed Stoddard had methamphetamine and amphetamines in his system at the time of his death, police said.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Kennewick, Officer-involved shooting, Pasco

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