Society

Man Holding A BB Gun In Walmart Was Fatally Shot By Police

| by Jonathan Wolfe

A man holding a BB gun in Walmart was gunned down by police officers in Beavercreek, Ohio earlier this month.

John Crawford was shopping in Walmart on August 5th when he walked over to a toy section and picked up the air gun, a Crossman MK-177 BB rifle.  A concerned shopper called the police on Crawford and said he “looked like he was going to go violently.”

Crawford was on the phone when the police found him. The person he was on the phone with, LeeCee Johnson, told the Dayton Daily News what happened next.

“We was just talking,” she said. “He said he was at the video games playing videos and he went over there by the toy section where the toy guns were. And the next thing I know, he said ‘It’s not real,’ and the police start shooting and they said ‘Get on the ground,’ but he was already on the ground because they had shot him. And I could hear him just crying and screaming. I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human.”

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Crawford’s lawyer is seeking legal retribution for what he says is an unjust killing.

“John was doing nothing wrong in Walmart, nothing more, nothing less than shopping,” attorney Michael Wright said.

Wright says surveillance footage shows Crawford facing away from the officers and leaning on the gun like a cane while talking on the phone. Then, Wright says, Crawford was “shot on sight” in “militaristic fashion.”

Beavercreek Police Chief Dennis Evers says officers shot after Crawford ignored their commands to drop the gun.

“Officers confronted the subject inside the store area near the pet supplies holding a rifle,” Dennis says. “The officers gave verbal command to the subject to drop the weapon. The subject later identified as John Crawford was shot after failing to comply with the officer's commands.”

The case has been handed over to a special prosecutor who will compile evidence to present before a grand jury on a September 22 court date. 

Sources: Dayton Daily News, MailOnline, Reuters