An Arizona police officer was fired after fatally shooting a man in a mobilized wheelchair nine times outside a local Walmart.
According to CNN, the Tucson Police Department released video footage of the shooting, which showed Officer Ryan Remington several steps behind Richard Lee Richards as he sat in his wheelchair. On Monday evening (Nov. 29), the 61-year-old man was accused of shoplifting a toolbox from the retail giant by an employee. Remington, who worked as an off-duty security officer at Walmart, responded to the call.
“Mr. Richards refused to comply, and instead continued to head through the Walmart and Lowe’s parking lots,” Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said in a statement. Remington and the employee followed Richards through the parking lot while “attempting to gain his cooperation.”
“According to the employee, he caught up with Mr. Richards outside as he fled the store and asked to see a receipt for the toolbox. Instead of providing the receipt, Mr. Richards brandished a knife and said, ‘Here’s your receipt,'” Magnus continued.
“I have a male suspect that just shoplifted, left in front of me, he pulled a knife on me,” Remington radioed in. The Walmart employee then stated that Richards said, “If you want me to put down the knife, you’re going to have to shoot me.”
A second cop arrived at the scene to help Remington. Both officers were behind Richards when they commanded him not to enter the store. A few seconds later, Remington began shooting Richards, who then collapsed over and fell out of his chair and onto the ground.
Magnus said Remington fired nine rounds into the victim. “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,” the police chief said. “As a result, the department moved earlier today to terminate Officer Remington.”
The Pima County Attorney’s Office is examining the deadly shooting to decide whether to pursue criminal charges against Remington.