Prosecutors: No charges in deadly 2020 SPD officer-involved shooting

Mar 13, 2024, 2:59 PM


An SPD vehicle. (Image courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Image courtesy of KIRO 7)

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said it will not pursue charges against a Seattle Police Department (SPD) Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) officer who shot and killed an unarmed man, while he was holding his 13-month-old daughter, in 2020.

The shooting happened on April 29, 2020, at the Rainier Playfields in Columbia City.

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Background of the SPD officer-involved shooting

Shaun Fuhr, 24, allegedly assaulted his girlfriend and fired at least one shot. His girlfriend called the police and Fuhr left the park with his daughter.

Seattle SWAT Officer Noah Zech eventually found Fuhr.

Although Fuhr was holding his 13-month-old daughter, and was apparently unarmed, Zech shot Fuhr, who later died.

King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Joseph Marchesano said the evidence just isn’t there.

“Mr. Fuhr did not stop. He did not have his hands raised, did not do any of the things I think are commonly associated with surrendering,” Marchesano said.

Two people called 911 that afternoon in 2020 from Rainier Playfield. The first caller said there was a gunshot and a man and woman arguing. There was a young child, and the man had put a gun in his waistband.

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“We really need to consider what the officer would have known at the time the use of force occurred. Officers, when using force, are permitted to use force based on the information they know at that time,” Marchesano said.

SPD’s Force Investigation Team and the Office of Police Accountability cleared Officer Zech of any wrongdoing.

Fuhr’s family has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming excessive force, negligence and discrimination.

You can read more of James Lynch’s stories here. Follow James on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email him here.

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Prosecutors: No charges in deadly 2020 SPD officer-involved shooting