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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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  • Dscn0533_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Dedicated to Officer David S. Crawford

    My most sincere condolences to the entire city of St. Petersburg, most especially their Police Department. This is simply TOO MUCH. May the family, friends and all those whose lives were touched by Officer Crawford find comfort from Above. Officer, Jeff and Tom are waiting for you and we'll all be united one day.
    [To the Members of PoliceLink: Please see my upcoming POST in GENERAL DISCUSSIONS for a positive actions we can all participate in - so that we can feel more empowered at this time of unprecedented Police Force Meltdown due to such death and mayhem literally attacking our LEOs. I'm putting forth an easy challenge for all of you!]

  • Thinker_max50


    over 4 years ago


    RIP Brother...

    This war is real and we all need to prepare mentally and physically, train like our life depends on it as it does, prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and be ready to act and react when the war is brought to us...

  • Images_max160_sq90_max50


    over 4 years ago


    So what is the answer? How do we stop all of this? I can think of one, but alot of people won't like it...

  • Nc_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Rest in Peace Brother!

  • Images_max160_sq90_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Third in less than a month??

  • Angry_swimming_cat_max50


    over 4 years ago


    RIP...what a tough year!

  • 70748_max50


    over 4 years ago


    RIP Brother, watch over us while patrolling the golden streets of heaven!

    I hope the evil monster who did this is put down by police or a jury!

  • 20552_1343137337912_1215571721_31006460_5991340_n_max50


    over 4 years ago


    RIP Brother

  • Snapshot_20111212_9_max50


    over 4 years ago


    RIP... This year has been a very hard year on LEO's everywhere. Everybody needs to keep their faith and pray for the families.

  • Img_0338_max50


    over 4 years ago


    RIP Brother. Hopefully the savage is bleeding out somewhere profusely in total agony from PO Crawford's return fire. Let's get this animal & terminate him on sight.

  • Alex_453_max50


    over 4 years ago


    RIP brother. My thoughts and prayers are with the Officer and his family.

  • Andrea_and_i_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Rest in peace brother. Thoughts and prayers go out to family, friends and colleagues during this time.

  • Fashion_copy_max50


    over 4 years ago



  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    I never realized that there are so many officers killed in the line of duty but I woke up when I joined PL. I hope
    they get the shooter,RIP SIR

  • Pug_max600_max50


    over 4 years ago


    RIPB Prayers for the family. Until we meet again.

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