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Cops kill a man at Wal-Mart who was carrying an air rifle

TDC says a man was killed with a toy gun he may have been planning on buying:

A man who was carrying an air rifle in an Ohio Wal-Mart told the police officers that fatally shot him that the gun was “not real,” according to a family member.

John Crawford was shot by police Tuesday evening at a Beavercreek store. The Ohio attorney general’s office announced Thursday that he was merely carrying a brand of air rifle that Wal-Mart sells.

Another shopper, 37-year-old Angela Williams, collapsed and died as she scrambled to get away after police fired at Crawford.

The shooting occurred after police responded to 911 calls about a man carrying a rifle. In one of those calls, which was released by police, a Wal-Mart shopper told emergency dispatchers that it looked like the man — later identified as Crawford — was trying to load the rifle and that he had pointed it at two children, WHIO reported.

So, the question is this: Why was the rifle not in the packaging?

23 Responses to “Cops kill a man at Wal-Mart who was carrying an air rifle”

  1. wizardpc Says:

    I guess Harless found a new department.

  2. Old NFO Says:

    That is a damn good question!!!

  3. emdfl Says:

    The AIR rifles in all of the wallyworlds I have ever been in are on the shelf in the open. I would kinda suspect that Crawford was just looking it over or whatever.

  4. wizardpc Says:

    I suspect it was an unsealed cardboard box. He was playing with it while on the phone, probably didn’t realize how long he’d had it out of the box. Just possible points to ponder.

    Note that in addition to the shot guy, a woman apparently died of fright when the cops opened fire.

  5. HSR47 Says:

    I’m not a lawyer, but a big part of shoplifting involves actually leaving the store with the merchandise. Furthermore, the last time I checked shoplifting wasn’t a capital crime….

  6. Robert Says:

    Could this have been called in by one of those idiots that claimed they were going to call cops on any open carriers they saw?

  7. CarlS Says:

    My Questions are:

    Why did the cops shoot in the first place when there was – obviously – a high probability that they would injure or kill innocent bystanders? Was the “shooter” bellied down and firing, or spraying bullets indiscriminately as he rampaged through the aisles? No? Then there was no reason for no asking the man to put the weapon down. Done properly, from cover and concealment, no danger to the cops.

    What are the policies of that department on use of deadly force? Do the policies comply with national standards, and rules of safe gun-handling?

    Where are the training records of those police? When did they last take ?Use of Force training, and when did they last fire their weapons for training and qualification? Were any military vets who were recently hired, or who returned to their civilian jobs after deployment to combat zones?

    Last but not least, all Walmart stores have numerous cameras that record for periods of time, and which are retained for periods of time, much longer than that of this incident. Certainly those vids are available. It would be a disconcerting, not to mention incriminating, if they were to announce that they videos were “damaged”, “lost”, or “the machines were damaged”. At that point, the preponderance of evidence could be interpreted to mean a “blue wall” was being built.

    What, me, cynical? Not so. It’s just that recognition patterns and reasonable suspicions develop after seeing and reading reports that use the same language, the same excuses, time and time again.

  8. JKB Says:

    Well, there ought to be plenty of video of the shooting.

    I sounds from the report that first the gun grabbers and media have created a large pool of people who panic call 911 and then probably not intentionally, spin up the threat so the cops come ready for a fight. Then the man seems to have first thought the gun being a toy mattered and it seems he may have turned, naturally, toward those yelling at him.

    These natural responses have to be conditioned out of people. Cops= empty hands. cops are too dangerous to do otherwise.

  9. Paul Says:

    Now any idea of the one shot was hard of hearing or deaf? 10 percent of the population is that way and shouts of ‘drop the gun’ might not work so well.

    I suspect the cop was trigger happy and shot first and asked questions a bit later.

  10. Chris from AK Says:

    If the dead guy wasn’t a “gunnie” then he may not know how to behave with a real firearm. Most non-gunowning adults don’t have any idea about basic safety rules like “don’t point guns at others.”

  11. rd Says:

    The cops and the 911 caller also killed a mother of four. She was shopping for her kids and an upcoming wedding. She had a heart attack as she and two of her kids fled the Target store after the shooting.

    Her name was Angela Williams, and she died at age 37.

  12. Paul Kisling Says:

    I figure he took it out of the package looking at it and was talking to his mom about it.

    Then a couple of Morons who need to join those California cops that shoot hostages took him out…

  13. jetfxr69 Says:

    Or, it could be that most of you are running with the “unjust shoot” assumption, because you can’t help yourselves.

    I live a mile from the store, and had to call my wife that evening to be sure she wasn’t there.

    The air rifles are in sporting goods, not toys. In this particular WalMart, that’s a fair distance. The initial report was he was pointing it a people as they came around the corner.

    I agree there should be plenty of video, and the CoP almost immediately asked the OH AG and BCI to do the investigation, to avoid questions of impropriety.

    Wait for the investigation. Wait until we see the video, and then start wondering about “Officer Harless”.

    If MattG ever has to pull the trigger on someone, are you all going to be quick to throw him under the bus? You all hear “cop shot someone” and have become no better than mister “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon.”

  14. jetfxr69 Says:

    Oh, and to get to the original question, no one knows exactly why it wasn’t in the original packaging. However, they did find that the empty package for that air rifle was back in sporting goods…

  15. benEzra Says:

    It appears the original 911 call may have been a little “embellished”.

  16. Jake Says:

    @ jetfxr69: If you really think the investigation is going to come back with any result but “justifiable”, then you’re just fooling yourself. And I’ll be very (pleasantly) surprised if the video ever sees the light of day.

  17. SteveA Says:

    Hope the family DOESN’T take the settlement and sues the city for every last cent.
    Then they can have these two trigger happy idiots put down,


  18. KM Says:

    I really do want to see the videos of this.
    Both the part where the gun was taken out of the package, if there is any, and the part where he is shot.

    Yell *anything* at someone who is facing away from you.
    Chances are they turn around to see what is what.
    Just turning around shouldn’t result in a pulled trigger IMHO unless there is already a bleeding body or two around.

  19. LCB Says:

    Sorry guys, but if the police yelled “Get down” or “drop it” and he turned toward them…they only had a split second to decide. From what I’ve read I don’t blame the police here. I DO blame the idiot that called 911, said that Crawford had a gun and was acting strange, and then followed him “at a safe distance” so he could see what happened.

    As I’ve seen on other sites, this was SWATing.

  20. Geodkyt Says:

    Ritchie (the 911 caller) displayed no stress in his call, felt the situation was safe enough he had his injured wife follow crawford through teh store on her electric scooter, and told dispatch he was a former Marine (establishing his “gun bona fides”, apparantly) and claimed he had WATCHED CRAWFORD LOAD THE “ASSAULT RIFLE”.

    It was a SWATting. The Ritchies murdered two people, using the police as their weapon.

  21. Sigivald Says:

    Am I the only one who looked up what a Crosman MK-177 actually looks like?

    It looks like about a 95% copy of an ACR/SCAR. As an airgun (rather than an Airsoft) it also lacks an orange “I am a toy!” tip.

    I can’t really blame cops or bystanders for thinking it might be a real actual rifle.

    (Contra Geodykt, a little, remember that being a Marine – assuming the caller was being honest – does not establish modern firearms proficiency. He may well have seen the deceased “load it” … as in fiddle with it an operate the action or the loading mechanism.

    Unless he’s A Gunnie [not the same as having been a Marine decades ago] he probably doesn’t realize it’s an ACR-alike airgun not being “loaded” with actual bullets.

    I would no more jump to the conclusion of SWAT-ing than that the police should have used mind-reading to realize it was a damned BB gun.)

  22. Tam Says:

    I’m with Sigivald and jetfxr69 here.

  23. Seerak Says:

    Oh, and to get to the original question, no one knows exactly why it wasn’t in the original packaging.

    According to this Amazon review on this rifle, it was common to find the boxes for these rifles empty because of shoplifters. It must be easy to get them out of the box and mess around with them.

    There’s also a slickdeals thread on these, apparently Walmart had decided to blow these out and stop carrying them after this incident.