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Wal-Mart Shooting: Son's Last Breaths Haunt Father a Month Later

By    |   Monday, 08 September 2014 04:44 PM

The shooting of a 22-year-old man at a suburban Ohio Wal-Mart in early August continues to haunt the victim’s father.

During a phone interview, John Crawford Jr. told the Cincinnati Enquirer last week that he still hears his son, John Crawford III, taking his last gasps of air before dying after police officers shot him in a Wal-Mart in Beavercreek, Ohio, just outside of Dayton. Crawford was reportedly able to hear his son through the cell phone belonging to the mother of his son’s two children, LeeCee Johnson.

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"You could hear in the background he was gasping," Crawford said. "I'm virtually listening to my kid taking his last breath."

According to law enforcement officials, Crawford III was walking around the Beavercreek Wal-Mart store with an MK-177 BB/Pellet Rifle, allegedly waving the gun around while shopping with a female friend before going to a cookout. Several customers believed the weapon was real, according to the Enquirer, and called 911. Crawford reportedly didn’t comply with officers telling him to drop the weapon and officers opened fire on him. Crawford was then pronounced dead at short time later at a hospital.

Attorney Michael Wright, has said he plans to ask the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the case, which Crawford Jr. believes was racially motivated.

"I think there would have been more tolerance. We are not inside the cop's head. But I would be not honest with you if I didn't (say) there was a little bit of racial undertone in this whole situation," Crawford Jr. told the Enquirer from his Tennessee home.

"We do believe there was a violation of his civil rights and that does have to do with race," Wright added.

The shooting of Crawford came just five days before the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in the suburban St. Louis community of Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9. That incident touched off days of violence and looting in Ferguson and prompted U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to call for a federal investigation into the incident and the Ferguson police department.

According to an article in the St. Louis Dispatch last week, Holder has pledged to conduct a “fair, thorough investigation” that would result in “lasting, positive change.”

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The shooting of a 22-year-old man at a suburban Ohio Wal-Mart in early August continues to haunt the victim's father.
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Monday, 08 September 2014 04:44 PM
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