Arizona police move to fire a cop who shot a 61-year-old man in a wheelchair 9 times, killing him over a report of shoplifting

Police car lights
Lights on a police car.Oliver Helbig/Getty Images
  • A Tucson police officer shot a 61-year-old man in a wheelchair nine times, killing him.

  • The man was accused of stealing a toolbox from Walmart.

  • The police chief said his actions were "disturbing" and a "violation." The department is taking steps to terminate him.

The Tucson Police Department is in the process of terminating a police officer that fatally shot a 61-year-old man in a wheelchair following a report that he had stolen a toolbox, authorities said Tuesday.

Ryan Remington, who worked with TPD for four years, was off-duty and working "a special duty assignment at Walmart" when he received a report from a Walmart employee accusing Richard Lee Richards of stealing a toolbox from the store on Monday evening around 6 p.m.

"According to the employee, [Remington] caught up with Mr. Richards outside as he fled the store and asked to see a receipt for the toolbox," Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said in a press release. "Instead of providing the receipt, Mr. Richards brandished a knife and said, 'Here's your receipt.'"

Remington was later joined by Officer Stephanie Taylor, who was contacted as backup to Remington.

A Richards attempted to enter Lowe's in the same plaza across from Walmart, Remington fired nine shots into Richards' side and back, according to bodycam footage and a statement released by the department.

Richards received medical attention but died on the scene.

Chief Magnus said he was "deeply troubled" by the shooting. He added that the Pima County Attorney's Office is conducting an investigation.

"His use of deadly force in this incident is a clear violation of department policy and directly contradicts multiple aspects of our use of force and training," Magnus said Tuesday. "As a result, the department moved earlier today to terminate Officer Remington."

Remington's attorney, Mike Storie, told The Associated Press that the officer "had no non-lethal options."

"He did have a taser, but in his mind, he couldn't use it because he didn't feel he had the proper spread to deploy it, with the wheelchair between him and Richards," Storie said.

Storie and TPD did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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