On Monday evening, Richard Lee Richards rolled his motorized wheelchair toward the entrance of a Lowe’s in Tucson as a police officer trailed behind with his gun drawn.

Moments earlier, an employee at a Walmart that shares a plaza with Lowe’s had alerted the officer that he saw Richards make off with a toolbox without paying, according to police. The employee and the police officer, Ryan Remington, followed Richards through the parking lot toward Lowe’s. At one point, Richards brandished a knife at the employee, police said.

“Do not go into the store, sir,” Remington yelled as Richards moved toward the Lowe’s entrance and another police officer, Stephanie Taylor, arrived at the scene with her gun drawn, according to body-camera footage of the incident.

Then, seemingly without warning, Remington closed in from behind Richards and fired nine shots at the 61-year-old at close range, the video footage shows.

Richards was struck in the side and back, police said, and was later pronounced dead.

On Tuesday, Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus told reporters that the department had “moved” to terminate Remington. He added that the Pima County Attorney’s Office is reviewing the incident.

“To be clear, I am deeply troubled by Officer Remington’s actions,” Magnus said. “His use of deadly force in this incident is a clear violation of department policy and directly contradicts multiple aspects of our use-of-force training.”

In a statement, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero (D) called the shooting “unconscionable and indefensible” and said she supported an investigation by the Pima County Attorney’s Office.

“It is moments like this that test our resolve to ensure justice and accountability,” she said. “We owe this to all Tucsonans.”

Mike Storie, a lawyer for Remington, did not return a request for comment from The Washington Post late Tuesday. In a statement to the Associated Press, he said Remington “had no non-lethal options.”

“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.

The deadly shooting comes less than two years after Magnus offered to resign when Tucson police officers restrained 27-year-old Carlos Ingram-Lopez facedown for 12 minutes until he went into cardiac arrest and died. Ingram-Lopez’s death was not immediately communicated to the public, and the police department’s leadership did not initially review footage of the incident — moves that Magnus called “serious missteps,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

But the mayor said Magnus shouldn’t resign. The city manager rejected his offer, and the chief stayed with the police department. President Biden in April nominated Magnus to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and he will soon face a full confirmation vote in the Senate.

Just before 6 p.m. on Monday in Tucson, the Walmart employee noticed Richards leave the store without paying for a toolbox, Magnus said at the news conference. The employee followed Richards into the parking lot and asked if he had a receipt. According to Magnus, Richards then waved a knife at the worker and said: “Here’s your receipt.”

The Walmart employee alerted Remington, who was on a security assignment at the store, Magnus said. The employee and the officer trailed Richards as he rolled through the parking lot toward Lowe’s, and Remington ordered Richards to drop the knife, the chief said.

“If you want me to put down the knife, you’re going to have to shoot me,” the Walmart employee recalled hearing Richards say, according to Magnus.

As Richards approached the Lowe’s entrance, Taylor joined Remington, and both followed Richards, ordering him not to enter the store. When Richards continued toward the entrance, body-camera footage shows Remington approached Richards’s left side and fired nine times, according to surveillance and body-camera footage the police department released. Magnus said Richards was struck “in the back and side.” Taylor, whose body-camera footage was released, did not fire her gun.

Richards fell out of his wheelchair in front of a flower display, and then Remington handcuffed him, the footage shows.

In 2007, Richards was sentenced to 10 years for first-degree attempted murder and other charges, according to court records reviewed by KVOA. In 2019, he pleaded guilty to illegally transporting immigrants for profit and was later sentenced to more than a year in prison, court records show.

Brick P. Storts III, a lawyer who represented Richards in the immigration case, noted the man’s criminal history to the New York Times, telling the paper that Richards used a wheelchair because of a hip replacement and other physical problems. Storts called the shooting of Richards “horrifying and over the top.”

A Tucson Police Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions about the process by which Remington can be fired. The department told KGUN that Remington was served with paperwork indicating intent to terminate him in seven days. Remington can challenge the firing in civil court, the station reported.