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'War On Cops' Continues: Third St. Pete Officer Killed

'War On Cops' Continues: Third St. Pete Officer Killed

Tampa Bay Tribune via YellowBrix

February 22, 2011

ST. PETERSBURG – A 25-year police veteran of the St. Petersburg Police Department was fatally shot by a man at Second Avenue South and Eighth Street South on Monday night, officials said.

A search for the shooter is ongoing this morning in the Campbell Park area, near Tropicana Field, police said. Schools in the vicinity have been closed and students are being relocated to other campuses, authorities said.

Police identified the slain officer as David S. Crawford. The 46-year-old officer became the third St. Petersburg police officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty in less than a month.

“This killer has taken someone precious to us – a member of our family,” Police Chief Chuck Harmon said early this morning during a news conference outside the hospital.

“I’m not going to lie. The city has been through hell,” Mayor Bill Foster said. “It took 30 years to lose an officer in the line of duty, and within 30 days, it’s happened again. I can tell you cities don’t prepare for this; departments don’t prepare for this.”

Shortly after 10:30 p.m. Monday, Crawford was shot multiple times in the chest at close range. He returned fire but it’s not known whether he hit the suspect, Harmon said. Police did not say whether Crawford was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Flowers began to appear at police headquarters just after dawn, much as they did after the Jan. 24 slayings of Sgt. Thomas Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz, the first St. Petersburg officers killed in the line of duty since 1980.

One woman wearing a black T-shirt that pays tribute to Baitinger and Yaslowitz dropped off flowers shortly after sunrise at police headquarters, where the flag was already at half-staff.

She declined to give her name but said her brother was a police officer. She said he was off at the time of the shooting but was called in to help hunt for the killer.

“It’s horrible,” she said. “My mom wants him to get off the force.”

The card with the flowers she left reads simply, “Because we care.”

In the lobby of police headquarters, framed color photographs of Baitinger and Yaslowitz still sit on a table below a plaque honoring those killed in the line of duty. Their names have not yet been added to the plaque.

Michael Ponce de Leon was a witness to the aftermath of the shooting.

“Everybody was screaming,” he told BayNews 9. "All the cops were like, ‘No, not again.’

“Blood was everywhere. He (Crawford) was basically mumbling. I don’t know if he was in agony or pain; I couldn’t make it out.”

Ponce de Leon said he yelled at the downed officer to keep him conscious.

Josh Harris, 21, lives nearby on Third Avenue South and was walking along Grey Eagle Court to a convenience store when he heard shots.

He said he heard four consecutive shots, a pause and then two more.

He said he saw the suspect fleeing the area, running south on Eighth Street, and then spotted Crawford on the ground, lying on his back. Blood was everywhere, he said.

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  • Sfa_iv_max50


    over 1 year ago


    RIP..Many prayers to the love ones left behind.

  • Mourning_badge_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace Officer David S. Crawford. My Prayers for your Family, friends and coworkers.

  • Shirt_max50


    over 3 years ago


    It's getting wrose, there was an officer killed in Indinapolis, IN. a month ago performing a traffic stop. The news didn't provide the circumstances other then what they, IMPD wanted us to know. Portest in Milwalkee, Indianapolis, Detroit and other cities throughout the US. Officers killing, while driving and drinking, prosecuter insults the community intelligence with lame loopholes he finds to exonerate the officer. Well, I don't want to continue to find reason for killing, there is none. God will take care of the wrong. Who ever is at blame. I will say those in authority, those who are put into a higher position of leadership by the community need to build respect to gain integrity. This officer was do doubt a family man, a respected officer in the community and a God fearing man. As a former Correctional Officer I know what it's like to go to work on a contingent level of thought. Today will not be like yesterday. Training is not effective unless practiced daily. There is only one GOD! Thank you officer Crawford of St. Peterburg, thank you Officer Moore of Indy, Indianapols, IN for your service in helping to maintain safety in your community. For the rest of the law enforcement officers who place their lives in harms way everyday you are in my prayers. Rest in Peace Brother!

  • 101_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace Brother

  • Dhs_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest In Peace, Brother.

  • 429152_383382448343019_100000138007755_1715744_714908712_n_max50


    over 3 years ago


    R.I.P Brother... My prayers go out to the dept. and family

  • Memorial_max50


    over 3 years ago


    RIP brother

  • Officer_2520down_2520cop_max50


    over 3 years ago


    rest in peace my friend

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    RIP brother

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Rest in Peace Brother and God Bless You.

  • Christmas_2010_038_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace, Officer Crawford... You may now stand-down.

  • Florida_medolphinpetting_max50


    over 3 years ago


    It's sickening to think about these people who have no regard for human life. Especially for someone who dedicates their life to bettering their community. R.I.P. Officer Crawford.

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50


    over 3 years ago


    God Bless Leo Crawford and his family.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    God bless our fallen brothers and I pray for their families. May God give you comfort and peace. For theses that have offended us will receive their judgment. Romans chapter 13

  • Officer_down2_max160_max50_max50


    over 3 years ago


    This has been a horrible year so far and so many of our brothers have lost their lives protecting our safety. May god bless all those officers in the department and pray for their safety.

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