Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus told reporters he was “deeply disturbed and disturbed” by the actions of Ryan Remington, a four-year veteran of the police force. Authorities released recordings of the shooting Tuesday.
“His use of lethal force in this incident is a clear violation of departmental policy and is in direct conflict with several aspects of our use of force and training,” he said.
Remington was working on a safety feature at Walmart Monday night when an employee warned him that a customer in a motorized wheelchair had stolen a toolbox.
Remington and the employee followed the customer, identified as Richard Lee Richards, in the store’s parking lot.
The employee said Richards was asked to provide a receipt for the toolbox. Richards allegedly pulled out a knife and said “Here’s your receipt,” Magnus said, and he continued to move toward a Lowe’s home business.
Remington ordered Richards to put the knife away, which he ignored, Magnus said. As he approached the entrance to the garden section of Lowe’s, Richards was warned by other officers, who responded on the spot, not to enter.
When he ignored their commands, Remington fired nine shots, hit Richards in the back and side and caused him to fall to the ground, Magnus said.
He died on the spot. Police body camera footage shows Richards from behind trying to get into Lowe’s. A male voice is heard ordering him not to enter until a barrage of shots is heard. Richards is seen falling to the ground.
The case is being reviewed by the Pima County District Attorney’s office.
In a statement to Fox News, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero called the shooting “unscrupulous and indefensible”.
“The county prosecutor’s office has my full support while they continue their investigation,” she said. “It’s moments like this that test our decision to ensure justice and accountability. We all owe it to Tucsonans. I ask our community to remain calm and patient while the investigation follows.”
Fox News has contacted the Tucson Police Officers Association to get a comment on Remington’s firing.