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.
The 911 caller’s wife said that Crawford was on the phone and that he was messing with the gun. She said that after police ordered Crawford to put down the unidentified weapon, “I heard two shots after I saw him turn. He still had the weapon in his hand.”
But Crawford’s family says that there is no way he intended to harm anyone that night.
LeeCee Johnson, who has two children with Crawford and is pregnant with a third, said that she was on the phone with him while the incident unfolded.
She told the Dayton Daily News that Crawford told officers that the gun he was carrying was “not real.”
“We was just talking,” said Johnson. “He said he was at the video games playing videos and he went over there by the toy section where the toy guns were.”
“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.”