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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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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    grunt358

    over 3 years ago

    4 Comments

    I had the pleasure to meet a couple of brothers while i was on vacation in st pete and i feel the pain here in ny,ironically the cops were telling me thier salaries and benny's and it was a shame.it takes truly dedicated men and women,they are people of honor and respect,absoulute heroes.i salute you.

  • Pnuewwfz3co7ovsnoavq5vnmvofl_max50

    IA_Techie

    over 3 years ago

    62 Comments

    R.I.P. my brother, yes.....but right now steam is coming out of my ears.

  • Photo_max50

    dcrump

    over 3 years ago

    192 Comments

    R.I.P. our law enforcement brother!

  • Zee_max50

    Zee727

    over 3 years ago

    4 Comments

    RIP Officer. My prayers goes out to your family and friends. God will protect every Officer as they serve and protect us daily.
    God Bless everyone!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    Rest in Peace Officer Crawford. Our Prayers are for your family, friends and department as they pass thru this time of grief.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    stanhan1

    over 3 years ago

    10 Comments

    RIP My Brother. I know in my heart that your fellow officers from around the world will help to look after your family as we also search for an answer to your death. We know you were a dedicated and man with the heart of a brave man, but at the same time, our tears for you and your loved ones have yet to dry from our faces. Some time must pass before our tears will be gone. May this young punk, who could not possibly have any reason before God for his actions he took against you, ROT IN HELL!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    milcop

    over 3 years ago

    762 Comments

    RIP My Brother

  • 014_max50

    securetexas

    over 3 years ago

    1038 Comments

    Rest in Peace our Brother...
    May the Good Lord look after Officer Crowford's family, may his shooter burn in Hell...

  • 21_max50

    philfroggy

    over 3 years ago

    1564 Comments

    Rest in Peace Brother, I hope that this little boy has to spend the rest of his natural life behind bars

  • Win_20140410_232326_max50

    2386

    over 3 years ago

    250 Comments

    R.I.P.

  • Images_max50

    RF_SECURITAS

    over 3 years ago

    78 Comments

    Rest In Peace.
    He must have been wearing a vest to be able and fire back.
    Cop killers should get the injection!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    swatj10

    over 3 years ago

    760 Comments

    This douche wad needs to be caught, He is a habitual offender.... I would say this qualifies for the 3 strike rule. FRY THIS POS

  • On_the_job_002_max50

    kaalima

    over 3 years ago

    1748 Comments

    R.I.P. Bad parents+ Bad kids=Horrible results !! This is just totally sad.

  • Img_0250_max50

    brick79855

    over 3 years ago

    220 Comments

    So sad, not just an Officer but a huiman being, you know, Cities need to go back to Two Car patrols at night regardless of a damn budget, anyone that just goes along with what Management want's is a Damn idiot it's not the only job in town! ya know. R.I.P

  • 2009-dodge-charger-police-car-1_max50

    CAPS

    over 3 years ago

    40 Comments

    R.I.P.

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