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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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  • Patrol1_max50

    StanfieldS

    about 3 years ago

    132 Comments

    Rest in peace brother. Prayers for you and your family.

  • Dolphins_fantasy_max50

    dolphinblue

    about 3 years ago

    42824 Comments

    R.I.P.

  • Sawmpsride_max50

    swamp_boy71

    about 3 years ago

    20 Comments

    RIp brother my brother we will take it from here

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    about 3 years ago

    RIP

  • Img_3794ma26750579-0005_max50

    RKEENAN

    about 3 years ago

    572 Comments

    “Because we care.”

    To family and friends:
    'God didn’t promise days without pain,
    laughter without sorrow, sun without rain;
    but He did promise strength for the day,
    comfort for the tears and light for the way'.

    RIP Officer Crawford.

  • 827-2294l_max50

    Fredder

    about 3 years ago

    190 Comments

    Rest in Peace Officer.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    MP247

    about 3 years ago

    332 Comments

    Rest in Peace Officer Crawford

  • Fordflash2_max50

    FHPgirl

    about 3 years ago

    108 Comments

    God Bless you. Thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice. You will never be forgotten.
    R.I.P. Officer Crawford

  • Plmb2s3sk_max600_max50

    s3sk

    about 3 years ago

    3308 Comments

    RIP Officer Crawford.

  • Policememorial---a_max50

    Collegecop_WA

    about 3 years ago

    2380 Comments

    Rest in peace Officer Crawford, may God welcome you home with open arms and may He watch over and comfort the loved ones you leave behind.

  • Field_sniper_max50

    JohnSmith338

    about 3 years ago

    52 Comments

    Rest in Peace, brother. I will remember you, your family, and the department in my prayers. Stay safe out there, boys.

  • 100_0456_sq90_max50

    115

    about 3 years ago

    24 Comments

    RIP Brother, my condolences to Officer Crawfords family and St. Petersburg Police Department. Everyone stay safe out there.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    rsironron

    about 3 years ago

    5220 Comments

    Rest in Peace my brother, you will never be forgotten. My Thoughts and prayers to you family, friends and co-workers.

  • 20_normal_max50

    JKNKY

    about 3 years ago

    352 Comments

    Rest in Peace......
    Stay sharp, be aware of your surroundings, wear you vest and watch each others back. It appears hunting season has opened and we are the hunted. It is real, be safe out there!

  • Dscn0533_max50

    BarbMarch58

    about 3 years ago

    114 Comments

    A post script to last comment from BarbMarch58. Please check THE LOBBY for my Officer Down idea and challenge. Thank you.

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