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St. Petersburg Cop Gunned Down

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ST. PETERSBURG (CBS4) – A St. Petersburg police officer was gunned down Monday night as he and another officer were called to check on reports of a prowler.

According to the department, around 10:30 p.m. Officer David Crawford, 46, was instructed to check out a suspicious person. Crawford spotted the guy but when he got out his patrol car and went to approach him, things went horribly wrong. Officer Donald Ziglar said he heard an exchange of gunfire and found Crawford on the ground by his cruiser, he had been shot multiple times. Crawford was rushed to Bayfront Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

“It hurts,” Police Chief Chuck Harmon said at a news conference outside the hospital early Tuesday. “It stings. This killer has taken someone very precious to us, a member of our family.”

Twenty six year old Anthony Ciecalone said he was sitting on his porch when he heard the gunshots. Ciecalone said he also saw a man running away and then saw a car peel out of the area.

Last month, St. Petersburg police officers Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz and Thomas Baitinger were killed as they helped serve a warrant on a man with a long criminal history.

“This city has been through hell,” Mayor Bill Foster said at the news conference. “Our hearts are broken.”

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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