A shocking video posted Tuesday shows police in Pasco, Washington, shoot and kill an apparently unarmed man, who in the video appears to be running away with from three officers with his hands raised. The police shooting happened at a busy intersection in front of a popular bakery in the city of approximately 70,000, 215 miles southeast of Seattle.
More than one video of the shooting is reported to exist and it is now under investigation by the Tri City Special Investigative Unit. The video above shows an unobstructed view of police firing on and hitting the man, whose name has not yet been publicly released. Be warned, the video contains disturbing images.
Numerous witnesses, including children, saw police kill the man, described by police as an adult Hispanic male, who appears to be fleeing the officer when they shoot him. The shooting happened at about 5 p.m. on Tuesday, in an incident that started in front of a busy grocery store and a crowded intersection.
According to Pasco police, the three officers — who have since been placed on paid leave, as is routine in police shooting incidents — responded to a call at the intersection about a man throwing rocks at cars. Police say the man then assaulted two officers, who attempted to taser him, but with no effect.
While police have said they are not sure if the man was armed, or whether they found a weapon at the scene, the latest police statement Tuesday night made no mention of a firearm or other weapon, saying only that the suspect "at one point threatened them, forcing the officers to fire their handgun."
According to one media report, witnesses reported that the man at one point had a rock in his hand and acted as if he planned to fight the officers. But witnesses also say the man then ran away.
The cell phone video clearly shows the man fleeing police and holding his hands in the air.
"I really thought they were just going walk up and tackle or taze him," said eyewitness Ben Patrick, who viewed the incident with his family from close range in the grocery store parking lot. "But they opened fire. His back was turned."
"He turned around to take off running and the cops just shot him," said Shannon Patrick, Ben's wife. "All he was trying to do was walk away."
Another witness, Carlos Sanchez, said, "They started shooting and they kept on shooting him."
According to Pasco police, the man did not "comply with their demands," resulting in the fatal police shooting.