Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office announced new details related to the Beavercreek Wal-Mart shooting incident that occurred Tuesday night.
During the incident Beavercreek police shot a man — John Crawford, 22, of Cincinnati — who is accused of waving what was described as a “rifle type weapon” at customers. Crawford was shot after failing to comply with police commands and died shortly after arriving at Miami Valley Hospital.
According to a release from DeWine’s office, that “rifle type weapon” was a MK-177 (.177 caliber) BB/pellet rifle manufactured by Crosman. It is known as a “variable pump air rifle.”
The manual for the MK-177 describes the air rifle as “not a toy” and states, “Do not brandish or display this air rifle in public – It may confuse people and may be a crime. Police and others may think it is a firearm.”
The Beavercreek Police Department officers involved in the shooting – Sgt. David Darkow and Officer Sean Williams – have been placed on paid administrative leave. Darkow and Williams have been on the Beavercreek police force since 1997 and 2005, respectively.
Beavercreek Police Chief Dennis Evers said in a statement Wednesday that preliminary indications were that the officers acted appropriately under the circumstances. Evers called on DeWine for an independent investigation into the incident to “preserve transparency.”
The news about the rifle comes as an early part of the attorney general’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) probe into the officer-involved shooting, answering questions that had arisen about whether the rifle Crawford is accused of waving was a toy or not.
The BCI is the state’s official crime lab which services the criminal justice community. It’s an independent agency that can be called on by an agency in cases like this. The bureau will take a case and investigate it to determine the facts of an incident and will present those facts – without a recommendation one way or the other – to the county prosecutor.
According to Jill Del Greco, public information officer for DeWine’s office, investigations like this typically take several months.
Nathan Pilling is a reporter who covers Greene County agencies and organizations. You can find him on Twitter at @XDGNatePilling or you can call him at 937-372-4444 ext. 130.