TUCSON, Ariz. — Police said Tuesday a Tucson officer would be fired after video showed him fatally shoot a man in a motorized wheelchair while confronting him over allegedly shoplifting.
Surveillance video of the Monday shooting shows Richard Lee Richards, 61, entering a Lowe’s in a wheelchair before an officer, later identified as Ryan Remington, fires his gun nine times at Richards’ back and side. Richards was declared dead soon after.
Before Richards entered the Lowe’s, a Walmart employee had reported Richards was suspected of shoplifting a toolbox, Tucson police chief Chris Magnus said Tuesday at a news conference. Walmart employees told police Richards pulled out his knife to answer questions about presenting a receipt.
Remington was working off-duty as security at Walmart and has been with the department for four years. Magnus said Tuesday that Remington would be fired.
Let’s see what we can tell you.
This is what the Tucson Police shooting video shows
After Richards left the Walmart store, Remington followed him around the parking lot and can be seen on video calling for backup.
Officer Stephanie Taylor responded, arriving at the scene as Remington was approaching Richards near the Lowe’s entrance. Footage from her body-worn camera shows her run out of her vehicle toward Richards.
Someone is heard saying “You have to stop”, and then adding, “He has his knife in the other hand.”
As Remington says, “Do not go to the store, sir,” Taylor draws her gun, too.
Video captured by Lowe’s security cameras show Richards enter the store in a wheelchair followed by the two officers with their guns drawn a few feet behind him.
“Stop now. You need to —” Taylor starts saying but is interrupted by Remington firing his gun, according to the body camera video.
Richards was facing away from the officers when Remington fired his gun nine times at Richards’ back and side, body camera footage shows. Richards immediately fell out of his chair as Remington rushed toward him and handcuffed the man, who remained crumpled on the ground.
What we know about officer Ryan Remington
Officer Ryan Remington has been with the Tucson police department for four years. His attorney, Mike Storie,said in a statement that Remington “had no nonlethal options.”
“He did have a Taser, but in his mind, he couldn’t use it because he didn’t feel he had the proper spread to deploy it, with the wheelchair between him and Richards,” Storie said.
The Pima County Attorney’s Office is reviewing the fatal shooting for possible criminal charges against Remington.
Magnus, the chief of police said that officer Remington had caused him distress and was deeply troubled. “His use deadly force in the incident is clearly a violation of department policy. This directly contradicts numerous aspects of our training and use force.”
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said Remington’s actions were “unconscionable and indefensible” and the county attorney’s office has her support as it proceeds with its investigation.
The shooting happened a day after Tucson police announced it was investigating another incident involving an off-duty officer who restrained two women on the ground outside a restaurant.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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