A former Arizona police officer who fatally shot a man in a motorized wheelchair last year was indicted for manslaughter, according to court documents released Thursday.
Ryan Remington, 32, was accused of “recklessly” causing the death of Richard Lee Richards, 61, in the Nov. 29 shooting outside a Tucson Lowe's, according to a copy of the indictment obtained by NBC affiliate KVOA of Tucson.
Remington, who started working with the Tucson Police Department in 2017, was fired earlier this year after an internal probe into the shooting.
In a statement Wednesday, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero cited the indictment and said she would continue to work with the local police chief “to ensure that we get to the root causes that prevent tragedies like this in our community.”
Remington’s lawyer, Mike Storie, told KVOA the charge “doesn’t fit.”
“It’s a legal fiction,” he said. “I’ll be very interested to read the grand jury transcript, and what went on in that room, where I was not present.”
Storie has previously said Remington "perceived a threat" to a Lowe's employee when he opened fire, killing Richards.
A worker at a nearby Walmart had told Remington that Richards had stolen a toolbox, authorities have said.
When the worker, who was talking to Richards in a store parking lot, asked to see a receipt, Richards allegedly brandished a knife and said: "Here's your receipt."
Richards then headed toward an entrance of an adjacent Lowe's, with Remington and second officer chasing him.
Body camera video released by the police department in December shows the officers saying that Richards had a knife and telling him not to enter the store.
"When Mr. Richards failed to stop, Officer Remington fired nine rounds striking him in the back and side," former Tucson Chief Chris Magnus told reporters when the video was released.
"To be very clear, I am deeply disturbed and troubled by Officer Remington’s actions," he said then. "His use of deadly force in this instance is a clear violation of department policy and directly contradicts multiple aspects of our use of force and training."
In a statement Thursday, Tucson Police Chief Chad Kasmar said the shooting had "greatly impacted" the community and department. He declined further comment, saying the case was a matter for the courts.
Storie has said Remington had no "non-lethal options" when he fired.
"He did have a Taser, but in his mind, he couldn’t use it because he didn’t feel he had the proper spread to deploy it, with the wheelchair between him and Richards,” Storie said after the shooting.