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 â€œnot real,â€ according to a family member.
John Crawford was shot by police Tuesday evening at a Beavercreek store. The Ohio attorney generalâ€™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 â€” later identified as Crawford â€” was trying to load the rifle and that he had pointed it at two children,Â WHIO reported.
The 911 callerâ€™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, â€œI heard two shots after I saw him turn. He still had the weapon in his hand.â€
But Crawfordâ€™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 NewsÂ that Crawford told officers that the gun he was carrying was â€œnot real.â€
â€œWe was just talking,â€ said Johnson. â€œHe said he was at the video games playing videos and he went over there by the toy section where the toy guns were.â€
â€œAnd the next thing I know, he said â€˜Itâ€™s not real,â€™ and the police start shooting and they said â€˜Get on the ground,â€™ but he was already on the ground because they had shot him.â€