A man who called 911 to report a customer waving a gun inside a Walmart, resulting in a fatal police-involved shooting in 2014 in a Dayton, Ohio suburb, could now be charged with making a false alarm, reports The Associated Press.
Judge Beth Root of Ohio’s Fairborn Municipal Court ruled this week that there is enough probable cause to charge Ronald Ritchie with a misdemeanor in the Aug. 5 police shooting of John Crawford III, 22, in suburban Beavercreek, writes the news outlet.
Root reviewed sworn statements from several private citizens, who submitted a copy of Wal-Mart surveillance video synchronized to the 911 call and alleged Ritchie violated several laws. The judge leaves it up to the Beavercreek city prosecutor to decide whether to charge Ritchie.
Ritchie, the only person to call 911 from Wal-Mart before shots were fired, told police in his call that there was a man walking around with a gun in the store.
“He’s, like, pointing it at people,” Ritchie told a dispatcher. Ritchie said the man appeared to be loading what looked like a rifle and was “waving it back and forth,” according to a recording of his call.
Police have also claimed that Crawford had a real rifle and said he didn’t respond to commands to put it down.