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Beavercreek, Crawford family settle lawsuit from Walmart shooting death

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Posted at 6:10 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 18:10:28-04

BEAVERCREEK, Ohio — Nearly six years after a Beavercreek police officer shot and killed 22-year-old John Crawford III in Walmart, the city reportedly has settled a wrongful death lawsuit brought by Crawford's family, the Journal-News reports.

The 22-year-old Crawford, a Fairfield resident, was shot to death Aug. 5, 2014, by Beavercreek police Officer Sean Williams after a 911 caller told dispatchers a black man was holding a rifle, appeared to be loading it and waving it near people. Crawford was holding a Crosman MK-177 BB/pellet rifle that he found unboxed on a store shelf.

According to WHIO-TV, the city and Crawford family attorneys have reached a $1.7 million settlement agreement.

WATCH: 911 call, surveillance video together

The night of the shooting, Ronald Ritchie called 911 from inside the Walmart and reported a suspicious man with a gun.

Crawford family attorney Michael Wright previously said the family believed responsibility for the shooting remained with the store, Walmart, and the city of Beavercreek.

“Ritchie would not have called 911 had the BB gun been secure in the box,” Wright said in a 2019 interview with the Dayton Daily News. “So, Walmart’s ultimately responsible for this event.”

When shots were fired by Officer Williams, shoppers rushed to flee the store. One of them, Angela Williams, suffered a fatal heart attack. She and her children were shopping for school supplies.

A federal grand jury declined to indict Williams in Crawford’s death. That decision came in July, 2017, almost three years after the shooting.

The Journal-News is a media partner of WCPO 9 News.