Beavercreek Walmart Eyewitnesses Contradict Police Statements and 911 Caller

How I encountered the Beavercreek Police Department and lived to tell the story
Photo: Greene County Herald

On a cold evening on January 15, 2011 I was eating a burger with a friend at a small restaurant in Beavercreek, when three men with badges and guns interrupted our dinner and demanded with barking orders that we identify ourselves immediately.  Our supposed crime?  Carrying firearms openly; at least that's what I assumed as the officers refused to tell us what crime we were being suspected of having committed and did not clearly communicate to me under what State law we were required to provide identification to them, and copies of our Concealed Carry permits.

A few minutes earlier a man in the restaurant called 911 and told the operator that a "crazy looking European guy" has a gun on him.  A beard and a warm knitted hat apparently are qualifiers for "crazy looking" in this new United States of America.  The operator told him incorrectly that it was against the law to openly carry a gun in Ohio.  The sergeant on duty, Colmes, also gave the same incorrect information to the dispatcher, creating a very dangerous situation between two armed men having dinner and three armed police officers being dispatched to handle "crazy looking people" after a misleading and outright false 911 call.  You can listen to the January 15, 2011 calls and dispatch audio here: https://vimeo.com/19343973 (Note: the video displays an incorrect time-stamp of 2010.  The correct year is 2011)

As a result of this unpleasant and dangerous encounter in 2011, I wrote an article titled Local Police in Dire Need of Law Education, Good Manners.

Why is this important?  Because unlike John Crawford III who was shot to death inside the Beavercreek Wal-Mart on August 5 2014, I lived through my encounter to tell my story of unprofessional, immature and outright illegal behavior of the Beavercreek Police Department that evening. Three years later, an encounter similar with the one I had with Beavercreek Police Department turned out to be deadly for someone else.  This could have been prevented, should the education and training promised in 2011 followed through.

To add to the injury of inaccurate statements promoted through the mainstream media by the Beavercreek Police, The Greene County Herald was able to establish first-hand that up until the point of the actual Police shooting, the Beavercreek Wal-Mart was a calm setting, directly contradicting statements from a 911 call that a dangerous man with a rifle was inside the store causing mayhem and intimidating other shoppers with the air-rifle.

Accounts from one individual present in the store minutes before the shooting and at another individual who directly encountered John Crawford III immediately before the shooting, and made eye-contact with him while he was holding the rifle, directly contradict statements made by the 911 caller, the police and mainstream media reports published immediately after the incident.

One witness explaining the circumstances to the Greene County Herald said,

"I was also at Wal-Mart that night.  When I walked out to my car there were sirens already on their way (even though I didn't know where they were headed.)  I was in that section of the store the entire time I was in there -- ending at the place where the school sale stuff is, in the main aisle near pets and toys.  Anyway, no one acted strangely.  No one seemed in a hurry to leave.  There were two men dressed business casual near the checkout standing there who obviously worked for Wal-Mart.  They caught my eye and smiled at me.  When a woman entered the store and asked where electronics was, they directed her straight back.  They were not asking anyone to leave.  No one was rushing out of there.  I had no clue anything was out of the ordinary except the presence of those men.  I thought at the time maybe they were visiting district managers or something.  Now I am assuming they were plain clothes security, but I don't know for sure.  But no one was being evacuated while I was in there.  I am glad I didn't hear or see the shooting."

It appears that the store was a calm, safe and peaceful place until the Beavercreek Police Officers responded and started firing their weapons inside the store, without any thought as to where their bullets would end up, or whether or not other peaceful and innocent bystanders could be harmed or even killed by their actions.

Another eyewitness to the shooting who was much closer to the events surrounding the death of Angela Williams, stated that he walked with his mother right past John Crawford III and they made eye-contact with him.  After noticing the rifle, his mother said "It probably isn't even real" and they continued walking past him.  The eyewitness states that they did not feel in danger or even feared John Crawford III as he gave them no reason to do so.  Immediately after, Beavercreek Police came in and shot John Crawford III, causing Angela Williams to run away panicked from the scene and collapse and die.  According to this eyewitness, it was the action of the police, that created panic inside the store and caused Angela Williams to run away scared, not the actions of John Crawford III.  These statements contradict many initial police statements and statements made by mainstream media reports.

We could continue to dissect the facts of the situation, but one thing has become very clear after the shooting of John Crawford III: the Beavercreek Police Department is comprised of dangerous and unaccountable individuals who continue to display a disregard for law, lack the necessary training to interact with law-abiding citizens in a proper manner and are too quick to pull the trigger on their service weapons, seeking to justify the shooting.

It has become clear to me over the past two weeks that I could have very well been John Crawford III, shot to death in a Beavercreek burger joint because a 911 caller was offended by my legal carrying of a firearm and used exaggerated language to inflame the police attitude towards legal and open gun carrying. 

Yes, I have encountered the Beavercreek Police and lived to tell the story.  John Crawford III was not that lucky.

Note: No eyewitnesses names or information will be made public in order to protect their privacy and maintain their safety.


Comments

Thank you for this article! Police violence against law abiding citizens should NOT be tolerated!

Regardless of what State / Police apologists will tell you, Police are often trigger happy, and will kill when they "think someone looks suspicious".

And for any police apologists chanting "just comply" look at the man in S.C who was shot and nearly killed when he reached for his license and registration AFTER THE COP HAD TOLD HIM TO DO THAT VERY THING.

Mr. Vaduva I can respect you being from Romania and fighting communism. First in this article about your experience you have a few points that you made that are incorrect. First the 911 caller was probably afraid and probably thought you looked crazy because for the most part in the Dayton area people do not walk into restaurants with a openly displayed firearm.

Second the business themselves can have you removed by the police if they are afraid to approach a gun wielding man they do not know. You may have a right to carry but that right is nullified if you choose to patronize a business that says no firearms or their is a sign up that stars no firearms allowed. Common sense would dictate that you check with the owner of the establishment prior to entering the business with a firearm. Not only would this avoid any unnecessary police involvement but any false accusations. If I was an employee at that restaurant when you entered I would of shouted gun and we are being robbed and dialed 911. I have never been in a restaurant wether it was as an employee from 16-21 or as a patron (now I am 42) where I have seen a person walk in with a rifle (as they are doing for attention in Texas) or a bolstered handgun openly visible like the old west.

I feel that people are so quick to act out against the police IE: they ask can I see your ID and you reply you do not need to see it am I being detained what crime did I commit. What that does is MAKE YOU LOOK SUSPICIOUS. if you have broke no laws and the faster you comply the quicker the situation is resolved and you are on about your way.

In the Wal-Mart incident I was not present but I know someone had to call 911 stating there was an armed man in the store and I believe they were genuinely frightened as was the individual who called 911 in your case ( you have no idea of his true feelings ). The police responded to what has the potential based on the 911 call to be an active shooter incident. If you have seen the news in the past 5 years you have seen the death and destruction brought on with these events and law enforcement as well as EMS and fire are trained to take these situations seriously and it is a hazardous situation untill proven otherwise. If the police told him to lower his weapon and he did not and they felt it was a real weapon from their viewpoint they have to fire to protect themselves and the patrons of the store. Did the shout drop it I don't know I was not there but if 3 or 4 armed cops bust in on me shout drop it and on the floor I guarantee whatever I am holding is dropped and I'm on the floor.

It's simple comply and it's all ok. Usually people who do not comply immediately are doing something illegal or have something to hide.

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As to the comment left by revkeenan21.....could you be more transparent? So what you are really saying is it is OK to have a weapon with a permit EVEN in a place where it is legal to do so as long as no one sees it. Also from your comment I get that ANYONE who looks suspicious in YOUR opinion automatically makes them suspicious. I hate to break it to you but your line of logic is one of the very things that is wrong in this country. I would also like to add that I do not live in Texas (no where near for that matter and yes it is in the United States) and I see guns on people quite often. I work in retail and I assure you the people I see them on are not just police officers. In fact one is a preacher at a local church, but I guess in your world that is perfectly fine for him to have it. Here is the thing, in this country as long as you live in an area where it is legal to carry a gun THEN IT IS LEGAL TO CARRY A GUN, regardless if you agree with it or not. Even if you don't like it, what you don't like doesn't mean a thing as long as the person is not breaking any laws.

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