An off-duty Tucson, Arizona police officer shot a wheelchair-bound man in the back nine times, killing him, after he allegedly shoplifted.
On Monday, Ryan Remington, a cop who was working as a security guard at Walmart, was alerted by an employee that a man in a motorized wheelchair had taken a toolbox without paying. The employee alleges that he suspected the man of shoplifting and was able to catch up with him and asked him to show his receipt. The man, Richard Lee Richards, allegedly pulled out a knife and said, “Here’s your receipt.”
Remington followed the man as he made his way through the parking lot, and repeatedly ordered that he drop the knife, which he ignored, saying, “If you want me to put down the knife, you’re going to have to shoot me.” He then began entering the garden section of Lowe’s, at which point a second officer arrived to provide backup. Remington yelled, “Do not go into the store, sir,” which Richards did not comply with.
A surveillance video shows Remington subsequently opening fire on Richards, who fell out of his chair after being shot nine times. Remington walked up to him and handcuffed him, although he was motionless. The officers provided care for him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Remington has since been fired from the police department, where he had worked for four years. During a press conference on Tuesday, Police Chief Chris Magnus said, “To be clear, I am deeply disturbed by Officer Remington’s actions, his use of deadly force in this incident is a clear violation of department policy and directly contradicts multiple aspects of our use of force training.”
Additionally, the mayor of Tucson, Regina Romero, released a statement saying, “The actions of the officer involved in last night’s deadly shooting are unconscionable and indefensible. The County Attorney’s Office has my full support as they proceed with their investigation. It is moments like this that test our resolve to ensure justice and accountability. We owe this to all Tucsonans. I ask our community to remain calm and be patient as investigations ensue.”
ARTICLE: RITA VOGT
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: AZ CENTRAL
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