CINCINNATI (AP) — Family members of a man fatally shot by police at a southwestern Ohio Walmart believe store video will provide answers about what happened that day and vindicate him.
The family’s attorney and the father of John Crawford III said Monday that they requested surveillance video and communications between police and store security from Aug. 5, when Crawford was shot in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek. Police said Crawford, 22, waved an air rifle at customers and was fatally shot by officers when he wouldn’t drop it.
Crawford’s father said in a telephone interview that his son wasn’t a bad person.
“He was a good son and a good father to his two children,” John Crawford Jr., of Jackson, Tennessee, said. “I am positive he will be vindicated once the facts are known.”
Family attorney Michael Wright said in a telephone interview that they haven’t heard back from authorities or Walmart about their requests for the video and other material.
A witness told a 911 dispatcher that a man had a rifle and appeared to be loading it.
“We understand he took the BB gun from a shelf and had a phone in one hand and the gun in the other, but that’s why we need to see the video,” Wright said.
Messages left for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Beavercreek’s city attorney weren’t immediately returned Monday. A spokeswoman for the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation said the agency hadn’t yet seen a request.
The police asked the state to take over the investigation into the shooting, but Wright said the family will ask the U.S. attorney’s office to oversee the inquiry.
“We want a set of independent eyes that can take an unbiased look,” Wright said. “We don’t believe a Walmart customer should be holding a BB gun they sell and get killed.”
He says the family is asking everyone to withhold judgment until all the facts are known.
Wright says they also wanted to express condolences to the family of 37-year-old Angela Williams, a Fairborn woman who died after suffering a medical problem during the store’s evacuation. Authorities said it could be weeks before final autopsy results are known.