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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: News - Top Stories - UPDATE: Grand Jury to Convene in Officer-Involved Walmart Shooting; Family Calls it Murder
Tuesday, September 9 2014, 08:18 AM EDT
UPDATE: Grand Jury to Convene in Officer-Involved Walmart Shooting; Family Calls it Murder
XENIA -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Tuesday promised a thorough and fair investigation to uncover the truth in John Crawford's shooting death.

In two weeks a special grand jury will begin looking at the all the evidence to determine if criminal charges should be filed against the police officers involved in John Crawford's death.

"The good news is we have evidence and pictures. It just takes awhile to put it all together," DeWine explained Tuesday during a news conference at the Greene County Courthouse.

DeWine's team of investigators have collected 11 pieces of physical evidence, interviewed more than 50 witnesses and combed over video from 203 Walmart cameras.

"They're getting different angles and sometimes you can put them together on the screen and sometimes you cannot. So there's a lot of work that's going on," DeWine said.

His office's efforts to find the truth and seek justice means enlisting outside help.

"We're in the process of retaining a use-of-force expert to help determine if the tactics and procedures the officers deployed were appropriate under the circumstances," DeWine informed the crowd of journalists during Tuesday's press conference.

A grand jury will hear the evidence September 3.

"I never saw a case where the jury didn't get it right." DeWine said confidently.

Not everyone shares DeWine's confidence. Protest organizers point to experiences during their silent protest on Saturday as cause for concern.

"Someone yelled out of the car, 'Get over it.' People were giving us thumb down signs," protest organizer Darsheel Sehbi said. "Greene County in general is a very conservative county and I'm waiting to see how unbiased the jury pool will be."

DeWine asked the public to let the judicial process work.

DeWine expects the grand jury to deliberate for several days behind closed doors before a decision is made.



Earlier coverage:

GREENE COUNTY -- Ohio Attorney Mike DeWine said a special grand jury will convene in two weeks following the officer-involved fatal shooting of a 22-year-old man at the Beavercreek Walmart earlier this month.

DeWine said his office is reviewing 203 Walmart video cameras and 260,000 electronic files as part of the investigation. He called the death of 22-year-old John Crawford a "tragedy" and said both families who lost someone in this incident deserved answers.

DeWine said the investigation is well underway but is not complete. They expect to interview witnesses again, which is not uncommon in these kinds of cases.

DeWine said Crawford's father, also named John Crawford, was shown a portion of the video because DeWine thought it was right the family be included in the investigation as much as possible.

The father told ABC 22/FOX 45 after watching the video that he had just watched his son get murdered.

Michael Wright, the attorney for the Crawford family, also watched a portion of the video.

"This is an unarmed man holding a BB gun getting shot and killed inside Walmart," Wright said.

DeWine said he also wrote a note to the Williams family expressing his feelings about the difficulty of this case. Angela D. Williams, 37, of Fairborn died from a medical condition during the incident as she was trying to get her children out of the store after the shooting.

The attorney general said they have retained the services of a use-of-force expert. He also has spoken with the U.S. Attorney General's Office and the FBI.

U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart with the U.S. Attorney General's Office says the FBI will continue to monitor the state attorney general's investigation.

The grand jury is expected to meet Sept. 3 and should meet for several days to determine  whether there is probable cause a crime was committed.



Earlier coverage:

DeWine to Make Statement at 4 p.m. Today About Beavercreek Walmart Shooting

GREENE COUNTY -- Attorney General Mike DeWine will make a statement at 4 p.m. today regarding the Beavercreek Walmart shooting.


He is expected to speak at the Greene County Courthouse in Xenia.

John Crawford, 22, of Fairfield was reportedly waving a gun at shoppers before police fatally shot him in the Walmart near the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek.

Hundreds of people have been protesting the shooting since the August 5 incident. Many of them are demanding the Beavercreek Police Department or DeWine's office to release the store's surveillance video, which they expect will reveal details of what happened.

DeWine's office is leading the investigation and they said it could take weeks before its findings are released.

Also Tuesday, the Dayton unit of the NAACP announced it has launched an investigation into the shooting. The decision comes after Crawford's family contacted the NAACP unit.

The NAACP also asked the U.S. Attorney General's Office to have the FBI investigate the shooting case. Carter M. Stewart of the Cincinnati division of the U.S. Attorney's office said the FBI will look into it.

We're contacting the FBI and will have their response as soon as possible.

ABC 22/FOX 45 will cover DeWine's statement. Check back for updates.



Previous coverage:

AUGUST 18: Protesters Demanding Answers in Deadly Shooting at the Beavercreek Walmart

AUGUST 11: DeWine Says Walmart Suspect Carrying MK-177 BB/Pellet Rifle

AUGUST 8: Walmart Shooting Suspect's Criminal Past, Officer's Personnel File Released

AUGUST 7: Coroner Identifies Walmart Shooting Suspect Killed by PoliceUPDATE: Grand Jury to Convene in Officer-Involved Walmart Shooting; Family Calls it Murder

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