Tucson Moves to Fire Officer Seen Fatally Shooting Man in Wheelchair

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A antheral who was said to person stolen a toolbox from a Walmart and flashed a weapon astatine an worker was changeable 9 shots successful the backmost and broadside successful a confrontation captured connected video, the constabulary said.

The Tucson Police Department released video from a Walmart parking batch  showing an serviceman  with a fishy  successful  a motorized wheelchair. Moments later, the fishy  was changeable  and killed.
Credit...Tucson Police Department

Nov. 30, 2021, 11:43 p.m. ET

The Tucson Police Department moved swiftly connected Tuesday to occurrence a constabulary serviceman aft helium fatally changeable a antheral successful a motorized wheelchair who was suspected of stealing a toolbox from a Walmart and flashing a weapon erstwhile challenged.

Police bodycam video shows an serviceman pursuing the fishy and yelling, “Do not spell into the store, sir,” arsenic the man, identified arsenic Richard Lee Richards, 61, continued to the entranceway of a Lowe’s Home Improvement store connected Monday night. The officer, Ryan Remington, fired 9 shots and deed the antheral successful the backmost and side, the constabulary said, causing Mr. Richards to hunch implicit and autumn successful beforehand of a show of pinkish and reddish flowers.

A store surveillance video shows Officer Remington placing handcuffs connected a motionless Mr. Richards.

At a quality league connected Tuesday, Police Chief Chris Magnus said helium was “deeply disturbed and troubled” by Officer Remington’s actions.

“His usage of deadly unit successful this incidental is simply a wide usurpation of section argumentation and straight contradicts aggregate aspects of our usage of unit and training,” Chief Magnus said. “As a result, the section moved earlier contiguous to terminate Officer Remington.”

He declined to remark further and said the Pima County Attorney’s Office was investigating the matter. The bureau could not beryllium reached precocious Tuesday.

Mayor Regina Romero of Tucson called Mr. Remington’s actions “unconscionable and indefensible.”

“The region lawyer has my afloat enactment arsenic they proceed with their investigation,” she said successful a statement. “It is moments similar this that trial our resoluteness to guarantee justness and accountability.”

Mike Storie, a lawyer representing Mr. Remington, described the swift determination by the main and the mayor’s comments arsenic a politically motivated unreserved to judgment.

“This lawsuit happened astir 24 hours ago,” helium said precocious Tuesday, “and we person a main of constabulary who has fired the serviceman and the politician who is calling for his indictment. These are unbelievable circumstances that I’ve ne'er seen.”

Mr. Storie said that Mr. Remington, a subordinate of the Tucson constabulary unit for 4 years, “attempted to de-escalate the situation” until Mr. Richards’s actions gave him “no prime but to usage deadly force.”

“The reappraisal of the full video and circumstances would enactment his position,” Mr. Storie said, acknowledging that helium himself had not seen the entirety of video footage. “I’ve conscionable seen the cut-and-paste dog-and-pony amusement presented by Chief Magnus.”

The brushwood ended astatine a Lowes, but it began crossed the thoroughfare astatine a Walmart, the constabulary said.

Shortly earlier 6 p.m. Monday, a Walmart worker contacted Mr. Remington, who was moving arsenic a information serviceman astatine the retailer, and said that a antheral successful a motorized wheelchair had stolen a toolbox, Chief Magnus said.

The worker said that helium had asked Mr. Richards for a receipt for the toolbox, according to the chief. “Instead of providing a receipt,” Chief Magnus said, “Mr. Richards brandished a weapon and said, ‘Here’s your receipt.’ Officer Remington wanted Mr. Richards to halt and to surrender his knife. Mr. Richards refused to comply and alternatively continued to caput done the Walmart and Lowes parking lots.”

According to the Walmart employee, Mr. Richards had said, “If you privation maine to enactment down the knife, you’re going to person to sprout me,” Chief Magnus said.

Officer Remington and different serviceman warned the antheral not to participate the Lowes, Chief Magnus said. “When Mr. Richards failed to stop, Officer Remington fired 9 rounds, striking him successful the backmost and side.”

Brick P. Stortz III, a lawyer who had precocious represented Mr. Richards successful transgression matters, including a complaint of transporting amerciable immigrants, said his lawsuit had a lengthy rap expanse dating to erstwhile helium was a teen that included being charged and convicted of attempted first-degree murder.

Mr. Stortz described his erstwhile lawsuit arsenic having galore carnal problems that caused him to beryllium successful a wheelchair, including a hep replacement cognition and “some corruption problems.” He said the shooting of Mr. Richards was “horrifying and implicit the top.”

“It was conscionable truthful bizarre,” helium said. “I could recognize however helium could possibly beryllium a problem, but you don’t sprout idiosyncratic successful the backmost 9 times successful a wheelchair. If you did it, you’d beryllium looking astatine much problems than you’d attraction to believe.”

Mr. Storie said the fig of shots fired was influenced by Officer Remington’s constabulary training.

“Officers are trained that if they comprehend a superior and imminent deadly threat, “Mr. Storie said, “they are to occurrence aggregate times until they comprehend the menace is removed.”

Kirsten Noyes contributed research.

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