Witness In Walmart Shooting Of Black Man With Toy Gun Changes His Story
The “eye-witness” who made the 9-1-1 call that inevitably led to death of a young black father gunned down by police in Wal-Mart for allegedly pointing a toy gun at children is now switching up his story.
via The Guardian
When Ronald Ritchie called 911 from the aisles of a Walmart in western Ohio last month to report that a black man was “walking around with a gun in the store”, he said that shoppers were coming under direct threat.
“He’s, like, pointing it at people,” Ritchie told the dispatcher. Later that evening, after John Crawford III had been shot dead by one of the police officers who hurried to the scene in Beavercreek, Ritchie repeated to reporters: “He was pointing at people. Children walking by.”
One month later, Ritchie puts it differently. “At no point did he shoulder the rifle and point it at somebody,” the 24-year-old said, in an interview with the Guardian. He maintained that Crawford was “waving it around”, which attorneys for Crawford’s family deny.
Ritchie told several reporters after the 5 August shooting that he was an “ex-marine”. When confronted with his seven-week service record, however, he confirmed that he had been quickly thrown out of the US marine corps in 2008 after being declared a “fraudulent enlistment”, over what he maintains was simply a mixup over his paperwork.
Crawford, 22, turned out to be holding an unloaded BB air rifle that he had picked up from a store shelf. After Ritchie said Crawford appeared to be “trying to load” the gun, the 911 dispatcher relayed to an officer that it was believed the gunman “just put some bullets inside”.
The Crawfords’ attorneys told the Guardian that they had learned the preliminary findings of an autopsy were that he was shot in the back of his left arm and in his left side, supporting their claim that he was turned away from the police officer who shot him.
“It was an execution, no doubt about it,” alleged Crawford’s father, John Crawford II. “It was flat-out murder. And when you see the footage, it will illustrate that.”
This is terribly sad that the “truth” about what really happened is coming out now that this young man has lost his life so senselessly.
Who do you think is to blame in this case? Is it the witness for prematurely calling 9-1-1 and giving a false account of what happened? Or is it the police for not investigating the situation more thoroughly upon arrival before gunning this young man down?