Law Enforcement /

Tucson Cop Fired After Shooting 61-Year-Old in a Motorized Wheelchair Nine Times

A Tucson police officer has been fired after shooting a 61-year-old man in a motorized wheelchair nine times after he allegedly shoplifted at Walmart.

The fatal shooting of Richard Lee Richards took place after the alleged shoplifter brandished a knife on Monday.

In a statement about the shooting, Tucson Police Department Chief Chris Magnus said that a Walmart employee had contacted Officer Ryan Remington, who was off-duty and working a special assignment at the store, about the man allegedly stealing a toolbox.

“Shortly before six, a Walmart (1650 W. Valencia Rd.) employee contacted an off-duty Tucson Police Officer who was working a special duty assignment at Walmart. The Walmart employee told the officer that an individual in a motorized wheelchair, later identified as Richard Lee Richards (61), had stolen a toolbox,” the statement began.

“TPD Officer Ryan Remington, who’s been with the department four years, joined the Walmart employee in the parking lot and followed Mr. Richards while attempting to gain his cooperation,” the statement added. “According to the employee, he caught up with Mr. Richards outside as he fled the store and asked to see a receipt for the toolbox. Instead of providing the receipt, Mr. Richards brandished a knife and said, ‘Here’s your receipt.'”

Chief Magnus went on to explain that Officer Remington attempted to get Richards to surrender the knife, but he refused to comply. Instead, he continued riding his electric wheelchair through the Walmart and Lowes parking lots.

“According to the Walmart employee, Mr. Richards said, ‘If you want me to put down the knife, you’re going to have to shoot me,'” the chief’s statement continued. “As Mr. Richards approached the entrance to the garden section of Lowe’s, Officer Stephanie Taylor arrived to assist Officer Remington. Both officers were just a short distance behind Mr. Richards when they warned him not to enter the store.”

When Richards did not stop, Officer Remington fired nine rounds into him, striking his back and side.

Richards fell out of his wheelchair and landed on the floor, where officers rendered medical aid. Their efforts were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The department has determined that the use of deadly force in this incident was 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,” the statement said. “Please note that this entire incident is being reviewed by the Pima County Attorney’s Office. Because of this, we are not able to comment further. As the investigation moves forward, we will provide additional details as they become available.”


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13 responses to “Tucson Cop Fired After Shooting 61-Year-Old in a Motorized Wheelchair Nine Times”

  1. Zeknix says:

    Also, the term is less lethal. There is no such thing as non lethal force.

  2. Zeknix says:

    He didn’t just have the knife on his person. He was brandishing it and even threatened a person with it. Assuming he was less of a threat just because he’s in a wheelchair…. Well… You know what they say about assuming. Also a person can be extremely dangerous with a knife. Officers have in the past tried to disarm people with a knife using hand to hand techniques. Best case scenario, they end up with multiple lacerations, massive blood loss, and a lengthy hospital stay. Worse case…. Dead.

    Unfortunately, they’ve released very little information on the shooting. I’d like to see the initial encounter with the store employee and the interaction the cop had while following the guy. We really need more context.

  3. RoadGlide16 says:

    This cop deservers what’s coming. There were a number of non-lethal ways to stop this person, knife or no knife.

  4. Yagotme says:

    Dick Richards.

  5. PolishPierogi says:

    This cop deserves to die.

  6. Cat_R_Pillar says:


  7. Cat_R_Pillar says:

    The guy is 61, paralyzed from the waste down, was shot 9 times, and they still felt the need to aggressively dig their knee in his ass and yank his hands behind his back to cuff him?

    Couldn’t the cop just have yelled “Ma’am, please step away from the man in the motorized wheelchair.” He was going about 3 miles an hour, she could have walked briskly and gotten away.

  8. Cat_R_Pillar says:

    You seriously think he was going to just spring out of his wheelchair and go and start stabbing that lady? With two cops following him? And guns drawn?

  9. Plaguen says:

    Prett sure there’s a power switch on that thing, just turn it off, step up a curb or some stairs, throw a bag of dirt infront and behind him. If he gets up and starts running is another thing. The officer also shot towards the lady in the store, she didn’t look in danger until the officer started shooting. Short video but it doesn’t seem to me an imminent threat was there.

  10. shunsin7 says:

    Tasers are not as reliable and effective as movies would have us believe. Tasers give you one shot so if you miss you are screwed, additionally the tasers barbs will not penetrate the motorized wheelchair so it’s not really an option from this positioning.

    If you actively refuse police orders and threaten other human beings with deadly force, police officers should be privileged to use deadly force to stop you and save lives.

  11. MontyLalado says:

    We have given these people too much power over us

  12. MontyLalado says:

    @scafflaww serious question… are you retarded?

  13. Scafflaww says:

    From the body cam, it appeared unjustified. HOWEVER, the Lowe’s security camera showed an employee in the doorway, only feet away, with the suspect moving toward her with knife in hand… that police officer saved that employee from injury and/or death.
    One could argue that a Taser would have been a better option because the suspect was in an electric scooter and appeared to handicapped. The officers can not assume that the person is physically impaired because (shocker) criminals often make themselves appear less threatening in order to gain a tactical advantage. (Remember Ted Bundy?)

    Glad that the offices and others were unharmed.