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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (4)
  1. Vincent Marinello says:

    Now remember do not profile or nit may save yourl lives these days. Its the same old thing time after tme

  2. observerfromupnorth says:

    It should not be up to the officer to determine whether someone is a threat all persons being pulled over or addressed by an officer should immediately put their hands on their head until the officer determines whether they are a risk or not. If you have a problem with that then you probably are a risk. These officers should not have to be surprised or killed because of these criminals. We need more officers to ensure the safety of them until a point in time that people understand their actions will not be tolerated. Those of us who live within the law need not have any fear, those who don’t need to fear greatly that they are being watched and if you live by the sword then die by it.

  3. Mari says:

    Another senseless killing. My condolences to his family and co-workers. May he rest in peace.

  4. carmen says:

    observer, that would be nice if EVERYONE could feel at ease when they are pulled over by a cop, but this is the real world where the cops are trigger happy when they pull over certain people. Live by the sword, die by the sword…Cops are finally being touched by the misery they cause, but R.I.P to the innocent & guilty.

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