Arizona cop guns down man in wheelchair rolling away from him, department to fire him

An Arizona police officer fatally shot a man in a wheelchair Monday night in Tucson as the disabled man rolled away from him.

Officer Ryan Remington fired nine shots at Richard Lee Richards, a 61-year-old white man, outside a Lowe’s, according to body-camera footage shared Tuesday by Tucson police.

That footage shows Richards moving to enter the Lowe’s as Remington says, “Do not go into the store, sir.” Seconds later, Remington unloads the bullets into Richards’ back and then walks to handcuff Richards, who falls out of his motorized wheelchair.

Richards was entering the Lowe’s after leaving a nearby Walmart, where an employee saw him steal a toolbox. When the employee asked Richards for a receipt, Richards pulled a knife and said, “Here’s your receipt,” according to Tucson police chief Chris Magnus.

A Tucson, Ariz., police officer fatally shot a man in a wheelchair as the man was moving away from him.
A Tucson, Ariz., police officer fatally shot a man in a wheelchair as the man was moving away from him. (Shutterstock)

Remington was working a special assignment as a security guard at the Walmart, and the Walmart employee alerted him to Richards’ actions as Richards left the store.

Remington followed Richards and asked him to drop the knife. According to the Walmart employee, Richards told Remington, “If you want me to put down the knife, you’re going to have to shoot me,” police chief Magnus recounted.

Remington called for backup, which arrived in the form of officer Stephanie Taylor. Her body-camera captured the shooting of Richards. Taylor fired zero shots.

Magnus said the department had begun the process of firing Remington.

“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 at the press conference.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said the killing was “unconscionable and indefensible.” The Pima County Attorney’s Office will investigate and determine whether to press criminal charges against Remington.

Remington’s attorney defended him Tuesday, claiming the body-camera video shown at the press conference didn’t tell the whole story.

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