Silent vigil held at Walmart for Crawford, Williams

UPDATE @ 6:30 p.m.: Dozens of people began gathering at the Beavercreek Walmart this evening for the moment of silence.

EARLIER: Some Dayton-area residents will join others across the United States in a National Moment of Silence by holding a vigil for two people who died after a fatal police shooting at a local Walmart.

The vigil for John Crawford III and Angela Williams will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. today in front of the Walmart, 3360 Pentagon Blvd. in Beavercreek, according to Amaha Sellassie, co-organizer of the vigil.

"It's just a group of concerned citizens. We just came together after the incident, and we wanted to do something to pay respect to both families," Sellassie said. "We wanted to join in with the National Moment of Silence because so much has happened in this last week that we just wanted to create a space for people to come together and have a moment of reflection."

Organizers are asking participants to bring candles and pictures of those they want to remember.

The group has permission from the local store to hold the vigil outside of the store, according to Sellassie, a Dayton resident.

This vigil comes 10 days after Beavercreek police fatally shot Crawford, 21, of Fairfield, inside the store after receiving a report of a man in the store with a gun.

Beavercreek Police Officers Sean Williams and Sgt. David Darkow responded to the store, but officials have not yet released who shot Crawford. He was shot in the torso and died.

Crawford was carrying an air rifle/pellet gun that authorities believe he picked up from shelf from inside the store. Authorities said Crawford was shot after he did not comply with officers' orders to drop what he was holding.

Authorities have not yet released the store's surveillance camera footage of the incident, which took place before 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 5.

Williams, 37, of Fairborn, was also in the store. Williams, who worked for the Villa Springfield nursing home, was fleeing after gunfire before she collapsed and died.

"Two people lost their lives. I think it's a good way to honor them," Sellassie said. "Right now there is a lot of tension and people have a lot of different emotions in regards to what has been taking place across the nation. This a way for us to take a step back, breathe and see how we can constructively work together to change situations or restore our sense of community."

The National Moment of Silence recognizes those who have been victims of police brutality.

For more information, visit the National Moment of Silence Dayton Facebook page.

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