Feathered Bastard

Phoenix Police Department Releases Report on Shooting Death of Zachariah Pithan

The Phoenix Police Department released a report Wednesday on the shooting death of 22 year-old Zachariah Pithan by a Phoenix Police Officer on April 20, an incident the report characterizes as "justifiable homicide."

See also: -Did Phoenix Police Need to Kill Zachariah Pithan?

According to the report, four officers were on scene when the shooting occurred. They had responded to a report of fighting and of a door being kicked in at the Santa Fe Springs apartment complex on the west side, near 17th and Glendale Avenues.

Three, including the shooter, arrived around 9 p.m. that Sunday, and were directed to the third floor by a voice saying, "I'm up here."

Asked what the problem was, the voice, later identified as Pithan's, answered with a non sequitur "People keep breaking in."

The trio of officers approached Pithan's apartment, where the door was off its hinges. Pithan refused to come out of his apartment. As Pithan stood in his doorway, the officers tried to detain him.

Officer Andrew Williams grabbed one of Pithan's arms, and Pithan pulled him into the apartment, with the other two officers behind. A fourth officer would arrive just before the shooting.

There's a Rashomon element to the accounts of the incident from the various officers. The report describes several clubs or sticks on the floor of the apartment. The shooter tells investigators how he and Williams fought with Pithan.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons