The more we hear about the shooting death of John Crawford III inside a Beavercreek, Ohio Walmart, the worse it sounds. Evidence continues to suggest that Crawford was effectively SWATted by an ex-Marine.
Crawford was then killed by Beavercreek police officers that may have been amped up over the Marine’s apparently embellished description of what was occurring, and who may not have given Crawford a reasonable amount of time to comply with instructions to drop the BB gun.
We’d mentioned in our previous post on the subject that it appeared to us that Crawford had been SWATted by a former Marine and his wife.
Ronald Ritchie made the 911 call to police that set events in motion, and even though his wife April was confined April and Ronald Ritchie, in an interview Wednesday night with News Center 7’s Jessica Heffner and Dayton Daily News Staff Writer Kelli Wynn, said they were in the hardware department when they saw a man leaving an aisle and walk past them with the rifle pointed toward the sky.
“He got on his cell phone right after he walked past me,” April Ritchie said. Ritchie was on her cell phone, talking with her mother. She had broken an ankle and was riding a scooter.
“Guy. Gun. Hold on,” April Ritchie recalled telling her mother.
They followed the man at a safe distance and Ronald Ritchie, a former Marine, called 911 at 8:21 p.m.
“Anytime I saw people walking his way, I would get their attention,” April Ritchie said, waving her hands for the reporters to demonstrate what she did. She said at one point, a family was standing next to the man with the rifle, but didn’t notice the rifle. The man turned to look at them with a stare she described as if he was telling them, “don’t come near me.”
He was holding a cellphone between his left ear and left shoulder while messing with the rifle, she said. “He just kept messing with it and I heard a clicking,” she said.
Ronald Ritche [sic] said the man “was just waving it at children and people. Items…. I couldn’t hear anything that he was saying. I’m thinking that he is either going to rob the place or he’s there to shoot somebody else.” The man looked kind of serious, Ronald Ritchie said. “He didn’t really want to be looked at and when people did look at him, he was pointing the gun at them. He was pointing at people. Children walking by.”
The behavior of the Ritchies as they described it was odd, to put it mildly. A man who seriously fears that he is in sight of an armed threat does not allow his injured wife to trail the “dangerous suspect” in a Walmart scooter, where she would be an easy target.
Perhaps even more telling are the 911 calls… or the lack of them, and what is said on the one call that has been partially released…Ritchie’s.
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