Dayton-Area Walmart Shooting: Was An Innocent Man SWATted to Death?

John Crawford III was shot and killed while holding an airsoft rifle while on the phone in a Dayton, Ohio Walmart.

John Crawford III was shot and killed by police in a Dayton, Ohio, Wal-Mart.

These facts we know to be true:

  • John Crawford III was shot and killed Tuesday night by Beavercreek, Ohio police officers in a Walmart.
  • Crawford was holding either an airsoft (6mm plastic projectile) or BB/pellet (4.5mm/.177-caliber metal projectile) rifle sold by Walmart that he picked up in the store.
  • Crawford was on the phone when he was shot.
  • Crawford did not have a criminal record.

From there, the tale of what happened next diverges significantly depending upon the perspective of who is telling the story.

LeeCee Johnson, who claims that she is the mother of Crawford’s children, says that Mr. Crawford was on the phone with her when he was shot.  What she heard suggests that he was gunned down with little warning.

LeeCee Johnson, who said she is the mother of Crawford’s children, said she was on a cell phone call with Crawford when he was shot by officers. She said Crawford went to the area to visit family members.

“We was just talking. He said he was at the video games playing videos and he went over there by the toy section where the toy guns were. And the next thing I know, he said ‘It’s not real,’ and the police start shooting and they said ‘Get on the ground,’ but he was already on the ground because they had shot him,” she said, adding: “And I could hear him just crying and screaming. I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human.”

According to Ms. Johnson’s point-of-view as the person on the other end of the phone, it sounded to her as if Crawford was unaware that others may have considered him a threat. She claims that she heard him address someone and say “it’s not real,” at which point he was shot and then someone (presumably police officers) yell at him to “get on the ground,” after he’d already been shot.

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