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US Tucson police officer fired after fatally shooting man in a wheelchair, officials say

10:20  01 december  2021
10:20  01 december  2021 Source:   cnn.com

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An Arizona police officer was fired Tuesday, a day after he shot and killed a 61-year-old man in a wheelchair while working off-duty as a security guard at a Walmart. Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus told reporters he was "deeply disturbed and troubled" by the actions of Ryan Remington, a four-year ( Tucson Police Department ). When he ignored their commands, Remington fired nine rounds, striking Richards in the back and side and causing him to fall to the ground, Magnus said . He died at the scene. Police body-camera footage shows the Richards from behind attempting to enter the Lowe's.

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A Tucson police officer was fired Tuesday after video captured him fatally shooting a man in a motorized wheelchair, officials said.

Tucson Police Department bodycam footage shows officers approaching a man in a wheelchair who was fatally shot. © Tucson Police Department Tucson Police Department bodycam footage shows officers approaching a man in a wheelchair who was fatally shot.

The video, released by the Tucson Police Department, shows portions of the fatal confrontation between Officer Ryan Remington and a man in a wheelchair identified by police as Richard Lee Richards, 61.

The video shows a combination of three camera views of the event on Monday: a Walmart parking lot security camera, a police body camera, and a Lowe's security camera. Two of the videos show the fatal shooting of Richards as he is rolling away from officers through the Lowe's parking lot. Playing throughout the video clips are portions of police radio communications.

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Richards had been accused of stealing a toolbox from the Walmart when an employee contacted an off-duty Tucson police officer who was working a special duty assignment at the store, according to a statement from Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus.

Remington, an officer for four years in Tucson, joined the Walmart employee in the parking lot and followed Richards while "attempting to gain his cooperation," the police chief said in a statement.

"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 said that Remington wanted Richards to stop and to surrender his knife.

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"Mr. Richards refused to comply, and instead continued to head through the Walmart and Lowe's parking lots," Magnus said.

"According to the Walmart employee, Mr. Richards said, 'If you want me to put down the knife, you're going to have to shoot me.'"

A second officer arrived on the scene to assist Remington.

Both officers were a short distance behind Richards when they warned him not to enter the store, the chief said.

The video shows Richards beginning to enter the Lowe's when Remington tells him, "Do not go into the store, sir." Seconds later, the officer begins shooting Richards, who slumps over and falls out of his chair and onto the ground.

Remington fired nine rounds, striking the man in the back and side, according to Magnus.

"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," Magnus said. "As a result, the department moved earlier today to terminate Officer Remington."

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CNN has reached out to Remington but did not hear back.

Pima County Attorney's Office to review incident, police chief says

A clip of Lowe's security camera footage shows Richards lying on the ground immediately after being shot, as the officer appears to be pulling his hands behind his back to handcuff him.

Remington was the only officer that discharged his weapon, according to Magnus.

Medical care was called to the scene "but a short time later Mr. Richards was declared dead," the police chief said.

Magnus said the incident will be reviewed by the Pima County Attorney's Office.

Attorney Michael Storie, who is representing Remington, told CNN that the "selected clips" presented at the news conference were only half the story.

"In any of these types of things, if you cut and paste a video, it will not properly lay out the officer's impressions and state of mind leading to a decision to employ force of any kind," Storie said.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero described the actions of the officer as "unconscionable and indefensible."

She added that she supports a full investigation by the county attorney's office.

"It is moments like this that test our resolve to ensure justice and accountability," the mayor said. "We owe this to all Tucsonans. I ask our community to remain calm and be patient as investigations ensue."

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