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Prosecutor: No charges in deputy shooting of armed veteran

Fri., Aug. 1, 2014, 9:46 a.m.

The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office said Friday it would not pursue criminal charges against the six deputies who shot and killed a despondent veteran near the Spokane Valley Mall in February.

Jed Zillmer, 23, led multiple law enforcement agencies on a chase along Interstate 90 on Feb. 11. He called dispatchers to say he was armed and wanted to be killed by police.

A video of the standoff after Zillmer stopped his car near the mall was captured by a Liberty Lake police officer. In the video, deputies can be heard appealing to Zillmer to drop his weapons.

In his decision announcing no charges would be filed against deputies Brian Hirzel, Jeff Thurman, Dale Moyer, Ryan Walter, Brett Hubbell and Randy Watts, Spokane County deputy prosecutor Jack Driscoll cited the danger Zillmer presented to the safety of the community.

“Mr. Zillmer was heavily armed, wearing a bullet-proof vest, and repeatedly stated that he want to engage law enforcement and force them to shoot him, even stating that he would shoot civilians if law enforcement took too long,” Driscoll wrote.

“Officers were acting in a good faith belief that use of deadly force was justified, without malice or evil intent,” Driscoll added.

Zillmer was an Army sniper in Afghanistan and earned a Purple Heart during a battle in February 2011, according to a lawsuit he filed with other vets who claimed they were denied health benefits upon returning home. Family members speculated Zillmer might have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

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