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John Crawford Caller May Be Charged

An Ohio judge ruled that probable cause exists to prosecute the 911 caller in the fatal police killing of 22-year-old John Crawford III.

Ronald T. Ritchie, called police from Beavercreek’s Walmart to report a Black man with a gun in the store. John Crawford III was found to be holding a BB/pellet gun as he talked with his girlfriend on the phone when he was shot.

“He was just waving it at children, people, items, I couldn’t hear anything that he was saying,” Ritchie told WHIO shortly after the incident. “When people did look at him, he was pointing the gun at people and everything.”

Video footage disputes Ritchie’s claims. Surveillance footage of the incident showed Crawford III casually browsing the aisles of the store and posing no threat to anyone.

Ritchie could be prosecuted for making false alarms, a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by maximums of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, the Dayton Daily News reports.

Officer Sean Williams shot Crawford twice after police said he did not respond to orders to drop the BB/pellet gun he picked up from the store’s shelf.

Williams, 37, was cleared by a Greene County special grand jury that declined to indict him. He remains on administrative duty pending a U.S. Department of Justice civil rights investigation.