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No charges for Seattle SWAT officer who shot man carrying infant while fleeing

Officers believed the suspect to be armed based on witness reports and knew that the suspect had severely beaten the child’s mother

Seattle SWAT

A Seattle Police SWAT vehicle, Thursday, April 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Ted S. Warren/AP

By Joanna Putman

SEATTLE — A SWAT officer will not be charged in the 2020 shooting of a man who fled police while holding an infant, the Seattle Times reported.

Officer Noah Zech, 40, fired a single round from his patrol rifle, striking domestic violence and child abduction suspect Shaun Fuhr in the head as he fled, according to the report. The Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney’s Office stated that given the information Zech had at the time of the shooting, his fear for the safety of the officers and the child were reasonable.

At the time of the incident, 911 callers included Fuhr’s partner, who said that Fuhr had beaten her, threatened her life and fired a gun, as well as a witness who said he saw Fuhr tucking a gun into his waistband and running away with the child.

Officers, including the SWAT team, pursued Fuhr through a construction site, according to the report. Zech and Fuhr came into the open at the same time where Zech shot Fuhr. Senior Deputy Prosecuting attorney Joseph Marchesano said that because of the abduction of the child, officers had cause for alarm.

“They had no idea what his intentions were,” Marchesano said.