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Beavercreek Walmart shooting case: As it happened

Published: Friday, August 08, 2014 @ 8:34 AM
Updated: Friday, August 08, 2014 @ 8:34 AM


            Wednesday, August 6th, 2014: The scene a day after a shooting at the Beavercreek Walmart that left a 21-year-old man dead.
            Mike Campbell / WHIO-TV
Wednesday, August 6th, 2014: The scene a day after a shooting at the Beavercreek Walmart that left a 21-year-old man dead.(Mike Campbell / WHIO-TV)

 

CURRENT UPDATES

 

THURSDAY

1:07 p.m.: AG releases gun info


Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced new details about a Beavercreek officer-involved shooting that left one man dead.

 The Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) has been asked by the Beavercreek Police Department to investigate the incident.

BCI Investigators on the case report witnesses say the man was carrying a weapon Tuesday night inside a Beavercreek store.

The weapon was an MK-177 (.177 caliber) BB/Pellet Rifle, manufactured by Crosman.  It is known as a “variable pump air rifle.”

 

UPDATE:12:10 p.m.: Funeral for Williams announced

Viewing and memorial service for Angela Williams is Monday from 5-8 p.m. at the Belton-Stroup Funeral Home on Dayton Yellow Springs Road in Fairborn. Funeral will be Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at the same place.

Williams died after collapsing during the shooting incident inside the Beavercreek Walmart.

MORE RELATED TO THIS STORY:

 

UPDATE: 11:58 a.m.: Crawford's friend speaks out about shooting

Bobbie Odneal of Cincinnati had known John Crawford for seven years. He saw his friend just hours before he died on Thursday.

“That’s my best friend. He was just literally at my house … the only thing I have of him is his hoodie. I just gave him his ID, and I’m waking up hearing his dead.”

Odneal very much wants to see video of the Wal-Mart shooting so he can see what happened, because he can’t believe Crawford would be in a confrontation with police. He’s suspicious that video has not been released yet, because he had another friend, Darnell Johnson, who was killed by the Cincinnati police only this past Monday. The video of that incident was released right away, he said.

“This is unreal, why they ain’t showing this video. I just want someone to back this up.” Odneal said. He can understand what happened with Johnson because the video shows he ran from the police.

He said Crawford was originally from Cincinnati and was living with his mother at an apartment in Fairfield. He was originally from the Fairmount area. 

“I knew his cousins, and then I met him, and we’ve just been boys ever since. We never stopped chilling with each other.  Whatever he’s got, I’ve got, and whatever I’ve got, he’s got. We’re close like that. He’s my bro.”

Crawford had slept at Odneal’s residence on Tuesday, the day of the shooting.

“That’s  all I’ve got of him. That’s all I’ve got of him is him waking up about to go home. That’s it. And the next day they kill him.”

 

Tuesday through Wednesday night

The Ohio Attorney General’s office is leading an investigation into Tuesday’s night police officer-involved shooting at the Beavercreek Walmart that left one man dead and apparently caused a woman who was running from the scene to collapse and die.

In the hours after the shooting numerous questions remain unanswered, including whether the man shot — 22-year-old John Crawford III of Fairfield — was armed with a real gun when a Beavercreek police officer killed him.

A witness called 911 and said Crawford was waving a rifle in store, including around children, before police officers were summoned. But authorities have not confirmed whether Crawford was armed with a real weapon, and his girlfriend says he was unarmed when she dropped him off at the store minutes before the shooting.

“He did not have any type of gun on him,” said Tasha Thomas of Fairborn, who said she picked Crawford up at a Cincinnati outlet mall and drove him to Walmart.

Attorney General’s Office spokeswoman Jill Del Greco said BCI would not release information about whether the rifle was real or a toy, citing that it was part of the investigation. She also would not disclose which officer fired the shots that killed Crawford.

Beavercreek police Chief Dennis Evers refused to answer questions during a press conference Wednesday afternoon. 

Instead, Evers read a prepared statement and said that officers Sean Williams and David Darkow likely acted appropriately when one of them shot Crawford. He died shortly after being transported to Dayton’s Miami Valley Hospital.

“The officers gave verbal commands to the subject to drop the weapon,” Evers said. “The subject … was shot after failing to comply with the officers’ commands. The quick response of officers was instrumental in containing this situation and minimizing the risk to customers.”

During the incident, customer Angela D. Williams, 37, of Fairborn, suffered a medical emergency while exiting Walmart and died a short time later at Beavercreek’s Soin Medical Center. Williams’ co-workers at Villa Springfield nursing home said Williams was going to get married on Saturday.

Evers said Crawford received first-aid from police officers at the scene before Beavercreek Twp. Fire Dept. medics transported him to the hospital.

Evers said he asked Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification to investigate the shooting, and he deferred all questions to the AG’s office.

“We’ve been asked to do this many times,” DeWine said. “We have very good investigators at BCI and what we’ll be trying to determine is exactly what happened. We’re going to interview every witness that we can find.”

Thomas and the mother of Crawford’s two children disputed that Crawford entered the store with any real weapon or that he would have time to comply with officers’ orders to drop one.

A check of the Beavercreek Walmart on Wednesday showed it doesn’t have toy guns in the toy section, but does have real guns in glass cases and realistic-looking BB guns in the sporting goods section, including one BB gun box that was open.

LeeCee Johnson, of Fairfield, said she’s the mother of Crawford’s two children and that she was on the phone with Crawford when the incident occurred. She said she heard Crawford say “it’s not real” and officers start shooting and then yell at Crawford to get down.

“I could hear him just crying and screaming,” Johnson said. “I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human. First of all, they used a rifle. They could have Tazed him, or … just used the handgun, not something so powerful or forceful like he was an animal or something.”

Thomas said Crawford went into the store to purchase supplies to make s’mores.

One 911 call released by Beavercreek police was from Ronald Ritchie of Riverside, who was inside Walmart. He told dispatchers at 8:21 p.m. Tuesday that he saw a man “walking around with a gun in the store.”

Ritchie, an ex-Marine, said the man was pointing a black rifle at people near the pet section and that “he’s loading it right now.” Later, he said, “He looked like he was trying to load it, I don’t know.” He then added, “He just pointed it at two children.”

Later, a person on the call can be heard yelling that he’d been shot.

Ritchie’s wife, April, told this newspaper on Wednesday that Crawford was on his cell phone and that people looked at him with disbelief as he held the rifle. The Ritchies said that some scurried in different directions and that three people went into a stock room.

April Ritchie said Crawford held his phone between his left ear and shoulder while moving the rifle around. “He just kept messing with it and I heard it clicking,” she said

Crawford was in the pets department when the police arrived, Ronald Ritchie said.

“We moved up to get a closer view, which is not a good idea, but it happened,” he said. “We were hiding behind an aisle.

After police arrived, April Ritchie said she heard officers warn Crawford. “I heard, put it down, put it down,” she said. “I heard two shots after I saw him turn. He still had the weapon in his hand.”

The Ritchies said the man with the rifle fell backwards when he was struck by the gunshots. But, he got back up and went towards the officer who shot him. That officer then tackled the man with the rifle to the ground.

“He looked like he was going to go violently,” Ronald Ritchie said. “If he would have dropped the weapon, he could have came out with his life. But, unfortunately, he didn’t.”

Darkow has been with Beavercreek police since July 18, 1997 while Williams has been with the department since March 4, 2005. Both are on paid administrative leave. “Preliminary indications are the officers acted appropriately under the circumstances,” Evers said.

Williams shot and killed a suspect in 2010 in what was found to be a legitimate use of force when a man charged Williams with a knife.

“We are deeply saddened about the loss of life (Tuesday) night and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of everyone involved,” said Walmart national spokesman Brian Nick, adding that Walmart’s policies on guns in stores match the local and state laws in each location. “We are still learning information about the events surrounding this tragedy and assisting police in their ongoing investigation.”

The state now leads the investigation.

“BCI is going to look at the entire situation and look at what happened and what led up to the incident and how the officers responded,” Del Greco said. “We will not make determination if the shooting was justified or not.”

Instead, Del Greco said a report would be given to the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office, which may present the findings to a grand jury to determine if the officers acted properly or criminally. Del Greco said Crawford’s toxicology results may take weeks and the investigation may take several months.

Fairborn’s Trenton Story entered the Walmart store just before 11 a.m. Wednesday when police tape was removed and said the mood inside was surreal.

“It’s sad that this person was shot, but at the end of the day, the police officer has a duty to protect the people of the community and protect themselves,” Story said. “Some people may say maybe the police officer shouldn’t have done that, but for those people who weren’t there at that very moment, you can’t make that determination.”

Beavercreek police are asking anyone with information or who may have witnessed the events leading up to the incident to contact Capt. Eric Grile at 937-426-1225.

-- Mark Gokavi and Andy Sedlak, Jessica Heffner, Kelli Wynn and Eric Robinette.

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Boil advisory issued for parts of Trotwood

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 9:14 AM

A boil advisory has been issued for parts of Trotwood while crews make repairs to a water main, according to a city public works spokesman. 

TRENDING: 2 men shot to death at Harrison Twp. auto dealership identified

The advisory is in effect for residents on East Main Street between Wolf Creek Pike and Broadway Avenue. Residents on South Sunrise Avenue are also included in the boil advisory. 

TRENDING: Ohio buried baby case: Judge, attorneys to meet after strongly worded filings

The boil advisory is in effect until further notice, according to the media release. 

Residents are asked to boil their water for a minimum of three minutes before consumption or use for oral hygiene.

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Coroner’s office identifies 2 men found shot to death at Harrison Twp. auto dealership

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 1:39 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 8:50 AM

LISTEN: 911 call released in double homicide in Harrison Twp.

UPDATE @ 8:50 a.m. (Feb. 20): 

The two men found shot to death in a Harrison Twp. auto dealership were identified by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office as Frank D. Buck, 71, and Lester Golson, 59, both of Dayton.

TRENDING: Ohio buried baby case: Judge, attorneys to meet after strongly worded filings

Both men’s autopsies are taking place this morning.

TRENDING: Bon-Ton going-out-of-business sales start at stores this week

Originally, a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office captain said the men’s ages were 59 and 79. Buck was the operator of Buck-I Auto Sales on North Dixie Drive.

UPDATE @ 6:37 p.m. (Feb. 19): Two men were found shot to death after an apparent struggle Monday at Buck-I Auto Sales on North Dixie, according to Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

Capt. Jeremy Roy said the bodies of men ages 79 and 59 were discovered inside the Harrison Twp. business at 2801 N. Dixie Drive after deputies were dispatched at 1:22 p.m. on a shots fired call. Roy would not provide any other details and said the deceased’s next of kin had not yet been notified Monday afternoon.

>>Victim in deadly Springfield shooting identified 

Roy said deputies forced entry after seeing what they believed was at least one body. Roy said the coroner’s office was to take control of the bodies and evidence technicians were coming to photograph and diagram the scene. He said autopsies were scheduled for Tuesday.

“It looks like a struggle ensured inside the business prior to whatever happening,” Roy said, adding that he thinks the people involved knew each other. “I don’t believe that there’s anybody that we need to worry about right now. We think it was contained right here.”

In a 6-minute 911 call, a woman told a dispatcher that she went to the car dealer and saw two men who “started to tussle,” then saw one man pull a gun. As she was going to call police, she heard about three gunshots.

The woman said she saw one man’s face, then drove away and called 911.

At the scene during the sheriff’s investigation, a woman appeared to re-enact how she looked into the locked building and tried to get in.

>>Director: Youth soccer coach recovering after attack at Beavercreek bar

“We have someone secured that may have witnessed someone coming or going,” Roy said, saying that the cooperating witness was taken downtown to talk to detectives and was not considered a suspect.

The business next to the Traveler’s Motel and across the street from Ben’s Batteries is right next to a bridge that is being repaired. Construction equipment tearing up the road on the bridge and a jackhammer was operating nearby in the minutes immediately after deputies arrived on scene.

Roy said deputies will knock on business’ doors in the area to see if they have surveillance footage and added that people who had been interviewed had been helpful.

Montgomery County property records indicate the property was sold in 1999 by Sam Ashburn Sr. to a Frank D. Buck.

UPDATE @ 4:55 p.m. (Feb 19):

Two men found dead inside the Buck-I-Auto Sales dealership in Harrison Twp. appear to have been shot to death and there is no doubt there was a struggle inside the business, Montgomery County sheriff's Capt. Jeremy Roy said. 

The names of the victims, ages 59 and 79, have not been released as investigators are working to contact family members of the victims. 

Roy said deputies dispatched to the address on North Dixie Drive about 1:20 p.m. found the victims in a back area of the business and had to kick in the front door to gain entry. 

It's too early to say whether there was a robbery, the captain said, but investigators have "no doubt there was a struggle" inside the business. 

Roy also said investigators have in custody a woman who may have witnessed something that happened prior to the slayings. She is being cooperative, he said. 

The captain said the sheriff's office doesn't believe there is a danger to other businesses in the area even though there has been no apprehension or arrest.

Shooting North Dixie

FIRST REPORT

Two people have been found suffering from gunshot wounds near a car dealership on North Dixie Drive in Harrison Twp. Monday afternoon. 

TRENDING: 1 killed in head-on crash on West Dorothy Lane in Moraine

Emergency crews requested medics to the 2800 block of North Dixie Drive, near the Keowee Street bridge, on reports of at least one person suffering a gunshot wound. 

Deputies have surrounded and placed crime scene tape up around the Buck-I Auto Sales dealership. 

Additional details were not available. 

We have a crew on the way and we’ll update this page as we learn more. 

Marshall Gorby/Staff

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Dayton company’s pilot program getting national attention

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 8:46 AM


            CareSource, led by CEO Pam Morris, will host an official with the U.S. Health and Human Services to learn about a pilot program. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
CareSource, led by CEO Pam Morris, will host an official with the U.S. Health and Human Services to learn about a pilot program. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

A pilot program by CareSource aimed at holistically helping the non-profit insurer’s clients is getting some federal attention.

Steven Wagner, acting assistant secretary at U.S. Health and Human Services, will visit Dayton Wednesday morning to learn more about the CareSource’s Life Services/JobConnect program.

RELATED: CareSource’s chief executive to retire

Wagner will learn about how CareSource, which manages Medicaid plans, has been piloting ways to help clients with other aspects of their lives that could be affecting their well being, from housing to employment to education.

CareSource created a program in 2015 called Life Services, which is a voluntary program to help clients search for jobs and can coordinate support to navigate other issues like food insecurity or a lack of stable housing.

“The long-term goal is to help people become financially, emotionally and socially secure so that they are able to live subsidy-free,” CareSource states.

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Lanes reopen on NB I-75 near Needmore Rd. after three-vehicle crash 

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 3:49 AM
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 6:30 AM

2 lanes of I-75N closed after two-vehicle crash

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Major Highway Incidents

  • On northbound I-75 before the Needmore Road exit in Dayton, three-vehicle accident with one vehicle on its side around 5:35 a.m. All lanes have reopened as of 7 a.m.

Surface Street Incidents 

  • At Wyoming Street and St. Paul Avenue in Dayton, a car reportedly crashed into a building around 6:25 a.m.

>> RELATED: WHIO App-Winter

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west and east, Lane width restriction until Apr. 1, 2018. One lane will remain open on the ramp with a width of 11 feet.

SHELBY COUNTY

  • SR 47 between Fifth Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue, Lane closures Jan. 21 - Nov. 27. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times. 

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