City of Beavercreek to settle wrongful death lawsuit with family, estate of John Crawford III

Police shot him as he held a firearm inside a Walmart in August 2014.

City of Beavercreek to settle wrongful death lawsuit of John Crawford III

BEAVERCREEK — The city of Beavercreek will pay the estate and family of John Crawford III $1.7 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit.

Crawford was shot and killed by police after a 9-1-1 caller reported him carrying a gun through the Beavercreek Walmart nearly six years ago.

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“No amount of money is going to bring their son back,” Michael Wright, the attorney for Crawford’s parents, told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell in an exclusive interview Wednesday.

Wright said he fought for the parents and the future of Crawford’s two sons.

“We believe this is in the best interest of the family, the best interest of the children and that’s why we came to an agreement with the city,” Wright said.

The incident occurred Aug. 5, 2014. The caller said Crawford was in the store carrying a rifle, which later was identified as a pellet gun, pointing it at women and children.

Store surveillance cameras did not show women and children anywhere near where Crawford pointed the weapon. Cameras did show two Beavercreek police officers approach him as he talked on a cell phone, and showed Officer Sean Williams fire almost immediately upon announcing themselves.

“They should have assessed the situation better, they should have given John more time," Wright said.

John Crawford III (Courtesy/family)
John Crawford III (Courtesy/family)

A Greene County grand jury did not approve any criminal charges against the officers.

News Center 7′s Campbell reached out to the city and police leaders, who sent this statement:

“The Beavercreek police officers involved in the incident responded to the scene in accordance with their training, and their response followed accepted law enforcement procedures and protocols, based on the information reported by a 9-1-1 caller inside the store. The City of Beavercreek and its personnel have made no admission of any liability or wrongdoing, and they remain confident that the actions taken by their police officers that day were appropriate based on the information available at the time.”

City officials did confirm they will pay the Crawford estate $1.7 million.

Wright said the next step is to file a lawsuit against Walmart.

“If the gun would have been in the box, there never would have been a 9-1-1 call to begin with,” Wright said.

The trial involving Crawford’s lawsuit against Walmart has been pushed back because of scheduling problems triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to begin in November.