Pasco resident Benjamin Patrick was with his wife and three children at the Fiesta Foods market in Pasco Tuesday afternoon and saw the man, whom Patrick described as between the ages of 25 and 30, struggling with a police officer on the side of the street. Patrick said he got out of his car and was going to help the officer when two other Pasco police officers drove up and confronted the man.
Patrick said he man was yelling at police. He said the man picked up two “rocks or dirt clods” and threw one, but it didn’t hit anyone.
At that point, he said, one of the officers tried to use a Taser, but Patrick doesn’t think both of the darts connected with the man. He said the man appeared to pull a dart from his arm, and then start walking across the intersection, which Patrick described as one of the busiest in town.
“That’s when they started shooting,” Patrick said in a telephone interview Wednesday with The Seattle Times. He counted five shots. “I could not believe they were shooting guns. There were cars and people everywhere.”
Patrick believes the man was first hit at that point. “I saw him react, sort of jump, like he’d been stung by a bee,” he said.
The man kept walking across the street onto the sidewalk, with the officers in pursuit. Patrick said he heard the police tell the man to get on the ground several times. The man appeared to turn, and a second volley of shots was fired and the man collapsed.
“I am really upset about what I saw,” said Patrick, who added that he was going to go to City Hall Wednesday to voice his concerns.
“Yes, he was resisting. Yes, he was wrong. But it looked like there might be something wrong with him.
And he wasn’t hurting anyone. He had a rock, not a gun. It seems it could have been handled differently.”