TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A Tucson Police officer has been fired after a deadly officer-involved shooting on Valencia Road Monday evening.
Just before 6 p.m., a theft was reported to an off-duty officer who was working a special duty assignment at Walmart on Valencia Road, near Oak Tree Drive, according to the department.
A Walmart employee reported to the off-duty officer that a man in a motorized wheelchair had stolen a tool box. According to the employee, he caught up with the suspect in the parking lot to ask for a receipt, during the exchange the suspect brandished knife.
Off-duty officer Ryan Remington went to the parking lot and asked the suspect to surrender his knife but he refused, according to the department. The suspect then continued through the Walmart parking lot and started to enter the garden center-area at a nearby Lowe's, during that time another officer arrived at the scene to assist.
Both officers had told the suspect not to enter the store; however, the suspect did not comply with the orders and Ofc. Remington fired nine rounds, striking him in the back and side, resulting in the suspect falling out of his chair onto the ground.
Officers did render aid to the suspect but he was pronounced dead at the scene, police say. The suspect was identified as 61-year-old Richard Lee Richards.
In a press conference Tuesday, TPD Chief Chris Magnus said "To be clear, I am deeply disturbed by officer Remingtons' actions, 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 training. As a result, the department moved earlier today to terminate officer Remington."
Tucson Police tell KGUN 9 that the department has served the officer with an intent to terminate in seven days, he will be officially terminated next Tuesday. Following the termination, Remington can fight the firing with an attorney through civil courts.
Remington was with the department for four years.
"What you saw was the police department's edited version of this event, which was cut and pasted pieces of video of this event," said Mike Storie, Tucson Police Officers Association attorney.
Storie is the attorney for the Tucson Police Officers Association, he addressed Remington's use of force.
"He thought it was appropriate at the time he used it and he still does," said Storie.
The Pima County Attorney's Office will be reviewing this entire incident to determine whether Remington will face criminal charges.
"I believe they will do the right thing. They will take their time to review everything before they pass judgment," said Storie.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero released a statement Tuesday, it reads:
"The actions of the officer involved in last night’s deadly shooting are unconscionable and indefensible. The County Attorney’s Office has my full support as they proceed with their investigation. It is moments like this that test our resolve to ensure justice and accountability. We owe this to all Tucsonans. I ask our community to remain calm and be patient as investigations ensue.”
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