Greene County, Ohio coroner Dr. Kevin Sharrett has ruled the death of 37-year-old Angela Williams a homicide due to a heart attack she suffered when police officers stormed a Beavercreek Walmart on Aug. 5 and shot and killed 22-year-old John Crawford III, reports Dayton Daily News.
Sharrett attributes the cause of her death to acute ventricular dysrhythmia due to hypertensive and arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Described otherwise, Williams had an irregular heartbeat causing a cardiac arrest as a consequence of heart disease. The report makes no note of drugs or alcohol in Williams’ system.
The manner of Williams’ death is officially listed as homicide because of the chaotic circumstances inside the Beavercreek Walmart, according William Harden, the Greene County Coroner’s Office chief investigator.
“If she had been walking around normally and just collapsed, that would be a natural death,” he said. “She was fleeing and running.”
Harden said under the care of a cardiologist, her existing heart conditions may have been treated therapeutically or through a surgical device like a stent.
“But her death did not come from her extensive heart problems, it came because she was fleeing,” Harden said.
Williams was shopping in Walmart with her family when she suffered the heart attack in response to the officers shooting Crawford. She was taken to a local hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
As previously reported by NewsOne, even though Crawford’s death was ruled a homicide by gunshot wound to the torso, an Ohio grand jury declined to indict the two police officers, Sean Williams and David Darkow, who shot and killed him.
According to police chief Dennis Evers, the officers acted appropriately when they shot the father of two to death.
“The officers gave verbal commands to the subject to drop the weapon,” Evers said in a statement. “The subject … was shot after failing to comply with the officers’ commands. The quick response of officers was instrumental in containing this situation and minimizing the risk to customers.”
But the surveillance video released this week tells a different story.
Crawford can be seen on his cell phone walking around the store, browsing, when he picks up the toy rifle, which according to Special Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier, had been taken out of its box and left on the shelf.
The toy rifle was at Crawford’s side and he was turned away from police officers when they fired on him.
Crawford immediately dropped the toy rifle and ran for cover. He almost instantly pivots—it appears as if another police officer was approaching from the other aisle—and apparently tries to show the officer that he’s unarmed when the fatal shot is fired.
There is almost no time between when the officer first appears and the first shot is fired. In fact, it appears from the surveillance video that Crawford didn’t even see the shot coming.