OH: No Proof Suspect Took Bus to Walmart

Aug. 07--Shortly after reports of a Tuesday night shooting death of an armed man at a Walmart in Beavercreek, some commenters on social media sites, including the Dayton Daily News and WHIO digital sites, began speculating the incident in which John Crawford, 22, of Fairfield died may somehow be connected to new Dayton Area Regional Transit Authority bus stops in the area.

Crawford's girlfriend, Tasha Thomas, told the Dayton Daily News and NewsCenter 7 on Wednesday that she drove Crawford to the Walmart on Pentagon Boulevard in an SUV sometime before 8:20 p.m. Tuesday night.

RTA Executive Director Mark Donaghy said Wednesday it is near impossible for a person to arrive anywhere on an RTA bus weapon-in-hand without notice. He said drivers are trained to turn away any passenger brandishing a weapon.

"We don't allow weapons on buses," he said. Weapons, even those carried concealed using an otherwise up-to-date permit, are also prohibited on all RTA property.

A review of Beavercreek Police records for the first quarter of the year showed the area had no rise in crime following the additional Beavercreek routes that serve about 80 riders a day.

Bus service to the Mall at Fairfield Commons began Jan. 12 after a years-long dispute between the city of Beavercreek and the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority. One of the stops is directly south of the Walmart on Pentagon Boulevard.

The city first rejected RTA's request for bus stops in the area in March 2011. But Beavercreek City Council approved the bus stops last year after a challenge by Leaders for Equality in Action in Dayton, a civil rights group, and a subsequent Highway Administration decision that could have cost the city $10.7 million in federal highway money.

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