Coroner says he’ll proceed with inquest into Pasco shooting

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Antonio Zambrano-Montes, just moments before three Pasco police officers opened fire.

PASCO, Wash. (AP) — The Franklin County Coroner says he will proceed with an inquest into the death of an orchard worker who was fatally shot by Pasco police last year.

The Tri-City Herald says Coroner Dan Blasdel told commissioners this week he’ll hold an inquiry — with or without their approval — into the death of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, who was throwing rocks at police when he was shot.

Blasel says the inquest is not dependent on the county approving the budget as commissioners have claimed. He says the inquest would provide transparency in the case.

Commissioners have said Blasdel cannot spend county money without approval. They have described the inquest as a waste of taxpayer money.

A prosecutor previously announced the officers who opened fire on Zambrano-Montes wouldn’t face criminal charges.