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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


    over 3 years ago


    May you rest in peace

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    May you rest in peace, my brother. May God comfort and bless your family and friends.

  • Airplane_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest In Peace Officer David S. Crawford.

  • Pa_iii_frank_dimiceli_01_max50


    over 3 years ago


    rest in peace brother,,,,may justice be swift and hard

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    We're in prayer for Dave's family and colleagues. I also posted a prayer request on my website. Really tough times in FL (and for our profession in general). Let's stay safe out there.
    Det. Sgt. M.C. Williams

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    RIP Off. Crawford. My prayers to your family, friends and all who's lves you touched while protecting your community. May your body rest as you take your rightful place in Heaven. May God Bless the St. Petersburg Police as they courageously carry forward in the face of such a tragic period.

  • Macon_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rip brother

  • Eagle-3_max50


    over 3 years ago


    As you departed the bonds of this earth and touched the face of God, know that the service and dedication you had for your department, its fellow officers and the citizens of your community will never be forgotten. May God comfort in this time of sorrow your family, your fellow officers and all those whose lives you have touched. RIP brother, we’ll take it from here.

  • Angel_kincaid_park_2014_max50


    over 3 years ago


    RIP Officer Crawford, Hope to read an update soon, Stating Suspect took a Dirt Nap.
    I know your Brothers/ Sisters will not sleep until this POS is Bagged....
    Stay Safe out there all, God be With You All.....

  • Absolutelawenf_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace

  • Eod_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest In Peace, Brother... My condolences to his family, friends and coworkers.

  • Donnga_max600_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace brother. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends, family, department and community.

  • Hpim0324_max50


    over 3 years ago



  • Img_20111016_163737_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I just can't stand seeing the constant posting's of LEOs down on this site. Not saying its the Links fault, I just pray officers continue to go home safe and sound and the link doesn't have to report any. 25 years and your career should not have ended this way.

    RIP Brother

  • Chris_and_i_in_uniform_max50


    over 3 years ago



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