The family of John Crawford, a man shot dead by police at an Ohio Walmart on Tuesday, says he lost his life unjustifiably after he picked up a toy gun in the store, Dayton Daily News reported.
Crawford, 22, was identified as the man Beavercreek police shot and killed. The family told the paper they have contacted civil rights organizations over what they say is a wrongful death.
LeeCee Johnson, who said she is the mother of Crawford's children, said she was on a phone call with Crawford when he was killed by the officers. They were in the area visiting family members for a cook out.
Johnson said Crawford claimed he was in the video games section of the store playing games before he went to the toy section to look at toy guns. The next thing she claims she heard was Crawford saying, "it's not real" before police shout, "get on the ground."
"I could hear him crying and screaming. I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human," Johnson told the Dayton Daily News.
The woman has two children with Crawford: John, who is 1, and Jayden, who is four months old. Johnson recently found out she was pregnant with a third child, but never got a chance to tell the 22-year-old.
Sgt. David M. Darkow and Officer Sean C. Williams of the Beavercreek Police were involved in the fatal shooting, The New York Daily News reported.
The gun he was handling at the time of his death may not have been a toy. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that the man had a MK-177 BB/Pellet Rifle on him, according to The New York Daily News. It is highly unlikely the gun would be able to kill a human, as it is mostly used to kill squirrels, snakes and birds of pray. The weapon is known as a variable pump air rifle.
It's still unclear who pulled the triggers and both officers are on paid leave while the event is under investigation.