An Arizona police officer was fired after he allegedly fatally shot a shoplifting suspect in a wheelchair.
Police said at a press conference Tuesday that Ryan Remington, a four-year police veteran in Tucson, was fired for excessive use of force after he reportedly shot 61-year-old Richard Lee Richards nine times.
"I am deeply troubled by Officer Remington’s 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," Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said in a statement.
"As a result, the department moved earlier today to terminate Officer Remington," he added, noting that the Pima County Attorney’s Office would investigate the case.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero (D) called Remington’s actions “unconscionable and indefensible,” according to The Associated Press.
Meanwhile, Remington's attorney, Mike Storie, acknowledged that his client had nonlethal options during the confrontation.
"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, according to the AP.
The shooting happened Monday evening when Remington was on a "special duty assignment" at a Walmart in the area, Magnus explained.
Remington and a Walmart employee followed Richards outside and asked him for a receipt after the employee said Richards had stolen a toolbox, per police statements.
“Here’s my receipt,” Richards reportedly said, pulling out a knife as he kept going toward a different store.
Remington then allegedly told Richards to drop the knife and not go into the store, but Richards said, “If you want me to put down the knife, you’re going to have to shoot me,” according to the Walmart employee.
As Richards continued to near the entrance of the store, Remington reportedly shot him, causing him to fall out of his wheelchair and killing him.