Grand jury set to hear case of Walmart officer-involved shooting - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Grand jury set to hear case of Walmart officer-involved shooting that killed Fairfield man

Police shot and killed John Crawford, III inside the Beavercreek Walmart last month (FOX19 File Photo) Police shot and killed John Crawford, III inside the Beavercreek Walmart last month (FOX19 File Photo)
BEAVERCREEK, OH (FOX19) -

Should anyone face charges in the police-involved shooting death of a Fairfield man inside a Dayton-area Walmart?

Starting at 9 a.m. Monday, a grand jury will begin working to answer that question.

Police shot and killed John Crawford, III inside the Beavercreek Walmart last month.  Officers say he was carrying an air rifle, and refused their orders to put it down.  Beavercreek Police say the shooting was justified, while Crawford's family disagrees.

"I'm angry.  The people that we appoint to serve and protect, by no means, did that," said Crawford's father, John Crawford, II.

Beavercreek officers Sgt. David Darkow and Officer Sean Williams arrived at the scene that night and confronted Crawford.  Crawford was holding an air rifle, that some believe is difficult to distinguish from an AR-15 rifle.

"John was doing nothing wrong in Walmart.  He was doing what Walmart wanted.  He was shopping," said Michael Wright, the attorney for Crawford's family.

One of the biggest points of contention is a public release of the store's surveillance video, something the family has pushed for, and says paints a picture of their son's innocence.

"I don't think any prosecuting attorney would do that.  We don't want to taint any trial that might occur later.  We don't want to taint the grand jury," said Mike Dewine, Ohio Attorney General.

With a special prosecutor appointed, concerns over a fair hearing have been raised, and Crawford's family has asked for the federal Department of Justice to get involved.

"I believe that the grand jurors will come into this room, and who will be listening to the evidence, who will be viewing the video, who will see every piece of evidence that BCI was able to uncover - I think they will do what's right," said Dewine.

The special prosecutor appointed by Dewine is Hamilton County assistant prosecutor Mark Piepmeier. 

The grand jury proceedings are expected to last several days.

Angela Williams, 37, was a customer in the store at the time of the incident.  She suffered a medical emergency and was taken to an area hospital where she later died.

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