A Walmart shopper was shot and killed by police earlier this week after being spotted wielding one of the store’s products.
An innocent bystander who tried to flee after hearing police gunfire ring out also died after allegedly suffering a heart attack.
It all went down on Tuesday night at the Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio, after a witness reported 22-year-old Fairfield resident John Crawford picking up a BB gun (sold at the store) featuring military style characteristics, which the witness described to police as a “rifle type weapon.”
The mother of Crawford’s child, Lee Cee Johnson, was on the phone with him as the incident happened. According to her, Crawford was playing video games in the store’s entertainment section, before he proceeded to the toy department.
“We was just talking. 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,” Johnson stated. “And I could hear him just crying and screaming. I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human.”
Considering the type of gun Johnson supposedly had, he was likely in the sporting goods section.
The witness who phoned police, ex-marine Ronald Ritchie, reportedly told 9-1-1 he saw Crawford “walking around with a gun in the store,” and that he was “loading it right now,” and pointing it at customers and children.
He “was just waving it at children and people. Items…. I couldn’t hear anything that he was saying. I’m thinking that he is either going to rob the place or he’s there to shoot somebody else,” Ritchie said.
Innocent bystander Angela D. Williams, 37, of Fairborn, also died following the shooting.
The county coroner said she was “apparently running from a dangerous situation inside the Walmart store when she collapsed. She was taken to Soin Medical Center where she died at 9:14 p.m.” In a sad twist, the mother of two was due to be wed on Saturday.
Police have yet to release footage of the shooting. Crawford’s friend, Bobbie Odneal, views that as highly suspicious.
“That’s my best friend. He was just literally at my house … the only thing I have of him is his hoodie. I just gave him his ID, and I’m waking up hearing his dead,” Odneal stated. “This is unreal, why they ain’t showing this video. I just want someone to back this up.”
“Preliminary indications are the officers acted appropriately under the circumstances,” Beavercreek police Chief Dennis Evers said.
“The officers gave verbal commands to the subject to drop the weapon,” Evers stated at a press conference on Wednesday.. “The subject … was shot after failing to comply with the officers’ commands. The quick response of officers was instrumental in containing this situation and minimizing the risk to customers.”
Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) will review the Beavercreek police’s actions, however, Attorney General Mike DeWine says it could be months before the investigation concludes, at which point the BCI’s results would be sent to the Greene County prosecutor for further review.
Both of the officers involved in the shooting, Sean Williams and David Darkow, are on paid administrative leave.