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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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  • La_riot_max50

    r2blt

    over 3 years ago

    28 Comments

    This is a war that will never stop. It's the nature of mankind and it's what we do. When I started more cops were being killed in the line of duty than they are now. Nevertheless, we must do whatever we can tactically and with technology to minimize these losses. RIP brother officer, and may we learn from your sacrifice!

  • Police_car_max50

    MidnightMike

    over 3 years ago

    470 Comments

    I cannot imagine what the officers in St. Petersburg are going through. THey have my support and prayers. Well served, brother officer...may you rest in peace.

    cgingo, thanks for the update., hadn't heard that yet.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    RIP Brother.....

  • Winged-helmet_150_1__max50

    goblue327

    over 3 years ago

    10 Comments

    RIP Officer Crawford, thoughts and prayers go out to the officers family and friends at St. Petersburg PD.

  • Esu_patch_max50

    esu

    over 3 years ago

    498 Comments

    RIP brother, my thoughts with your family, too bad the mutt was taken alive,,,,

  • Policelinkbadge_max160_max50_max50

    Gombino

    over 3 years ago

    2658 Comments

    Rest in Peace, Brother. My paryers for your family and co-workers.

  • 1911a1_max50

    tjohnsonr18

    over 3 years ago

    290 Comments

    Rest in peace Officer David Crawford GOD BLESS, prayers for your families.

  • Me__mr

    cgingo

    over 3 years ago

    21884 Comments

    This has been another very sad day here in the Tampa Bay area. As most of you already know, the perp was caught last night, but unfortunately, because of his age (16) he will not get the maximum (as recommended by previous posts) sentence because of his age. A minor cannot get the death sentence in the State of Florida. Also, contrary to several of the posts, this POS was not an habitual offender, rather he had a record of crimes againt property but has now graduated to the big boy stuff, however, because he seemed remorseful and actually cried during the interrogation!?!? I surely hope this remorse and tear action will go in his favor. I'm sure it means a lot to Ofc. Crawfords family and to the men and women of the St Petersburg Police Department. Rest in peace Ofc. Crawford. I'll keep you, your family, friends and co-workers in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    BForJuvCor

    over 3 years ago

    846 Comments

    To my brothers and sisters in Florida my prayers are with you each and every day as you step out into this war zone and risk it all to uphold peace, justice and the american way. R.I.P. Ofc. Crawford.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Bnshape

    over 3 years ago

    662 Comments

    Damn, DAMN, DAMNNN!
    Rest in peace Ofc Crawford.

  • Flags_and_stars_max50

    djs2v

    over 3 years ago

    5628 Comments

    RIP Officer Crawford

  • 01-08-09_1415_max50

    joel45acp

    over 3 years ago

    204 Comments

    Rest easy Bro. We got it now. Say hello to our Heavenly Father.

  • Att2307142_max50

    Magee88

    over 3 years ago

    2688 Comments

    there has been an arrest. thank god.

    please officers wear your vests.

  • Attachment_max50

    Danie526

    over 3 years ago

    80 Comments

    I just heard it was a 16 yr old that shot and killed this officer, WTF? Rest in Peace Officer Crawford

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    Disgusting really, this is horrible, God Bless Fl Cops, you all need all the prayers right now. So sad!

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