Officer fired after shooting wheelchair-bound man nine times (VIDEO)

The Tucson Police Department announced it has fired an officer who shot a 61-year-old man in a wheelchair nine times for allegedly shoplifting a toolbox from Walmart. The officer was working off-duty as a security guard.

A store employee claimed the wheelchair-bound man, Richard Lee Richards, refused to show a receipt for the toolbox when he was apprehended in the parking lot of the Tucson Walmart, instead brandishing a knife while saying, “Here’s your receipt.

Officer Ryan Remington then apparently followed Richards through the parking lot, “attempting to gain his cooperation” and to convince him to put down the knife. 

According to a statement from Police Chief Chris Magnus, Richards “refused to comply,” leading Remington to chase Richards through the lot, at which point he reportedly shouted, “If you want me to put down the knife, you’re going to have to shoot me.”

A second officer, Stephanie Taylor, joined Remington and warned him against entering a Lowe’s that shared the Walmart parking lot. Security and bodycam footage then show Remington opening fire on Richards, who falls out of his chair after being hit nine times. Remington subsequently handcuffs Richards as he lies face down on the ground. He was declared dead shortly afterwards.

Chief Magnus claimed he was “deeply disturbed by Officer Remington’s actions” during a press conference on Tuesday, calling the use of “deadly force” a “clear violation of department policy.” He also said the police department “moved earlier today to terminate” Remington. The shooting will be reviewed by the Pima County Attorney’s Office, where Remington will have the option to challenge his dismissal in civil court. 

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero denounced the shooting as “unconscionable and indefensible.” Remington’s lawyer, however, insisted the armed officer, who was carrying a taser in addition to his gun, “had no non-lethal options.”

In his mind, he couldn’t use [the taser] because he didn’t feel he had the proper spread to deploy it, with the wheelchair between him and Richards,” his attorney, Mike Storie, argued. Richards himself had served time in prison for first-degree attempted murder and illegally transporting immigrants for profit, according to local NBC affiliate station KVOA.

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