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Tucson police move to fire officer who killed man in a motorized wheelchair
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Tucson police move to fire officer who killed man in a motorized wheelchair

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Tucson police are moving to fire an officer who shot a man dead in the parking lot of a Lowe’s Home Improvement store Monday evening.

The man killed, 61-year-old Richard Lee Richards, was in a motorized wheelchair at the time and had brandished a knife, but had his back to the officer at the time of the shooting.

Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to share videos of the incident, which started at the Walmart on Valencia Road near Midvale Road.

It was at the Walmart where Richards reportedly stole a toolbox, and an employee alerted off-duty TPD officer and security liason Ryan Remington.

According to Magnus, the employee said he caught up with Richards as he fled the store and asked for a receipt for items he was carrying, to which Richards brandished a knife and replied “Here’s my receipt,” before continuing toward the Lowe’s garden-section entrance.

Remington followed after Richards across the Walmart parking lot and then into the nearby Lowe’s parking lot.

As Richards continued, he apparently also said that if police wanted him to drop the knife, they would have to shoot him.

At that point, Remington was joined by another officer, and both followed Richards toward the Lowe’s.

Both yelled for Richards to stop as he reached the garden-section entrance before Remington fired his weapon nine times, striking Richards in the back and side, before he fell from his wheelchair.

Magnus said that both officers rendered Richards first aid before he was declared dead on scene.

“To be very clear, I am deeply disturbed and troubled by Officer Remington’s actions,” Magnus said. “His use of deadly force in this incident is a clear violation of department policy.”

He then confirmed that the department began termination proceedings against Remington earlier Tuesday before leaving the press conference without taking questions. The Pima County Attorney’s Office is reviewing the incident.

Remington has worked for the Tucson Police Department for four years.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero described Remington’s actions as “unconscionable and indefensible.”

“It is moments like this that test our resolve to ensure justice and accountability,” she continued in a written statement. “We owe this to all Tucsonans. I ask our community to remain calm and be patient as investigations ensue.”

Edward Celaya is a breaking news and marijuana reporter. He has been on both beats since May 2021.

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