Police shot and killed 22-year-old John Crawford in an Ohio Wal-Mart for holding a toy gun.
The situation happened in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, Ohio. Police had been called to the store after two Wal-Mart shoppers, April and Ronald Ritchie, saw Crawford with a gun they presumed was real and made the call. The toy gun has since been identified as an MK-177 BB/Pellet rifle, better known as a “variable pump air rifle.”
Crawford was browsing by himself although his girlfriend, Tasha Thomas, was also at the store in another section.
The mother of his two children, LeeCee Johnson, was on the phone with Crawford as he walked around Wal-Mart before being confronted by cops.
“He said he was at the video games playing videos and he went over there by the toy section where the toy guns were,” said Johnson. “And the next thing I know, he said ‘It’s not real,’ and the police start shooting and they said ‘Get on the ground,’ but he was already on the ground because they had shot him. And I could hear him just crying and screaming. I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human.”
Thomas said Crawford was not carrying a gun when they entered the store.
According to police, Crawford refused to drop the toy gun, which is when police shot him. Crawford died from the gunshot wounds at the hospital.