Police: St. Pete officer was shot at least four times

February 24th, 2011 by Staff

ST. PETERSBURG – After responding to a report of a possible prowler, Officer David Crawford called out to the suspect.

The 25-year veteran had his notepad in his hand.

The suspect, who had his back to him, turned around, pulled a .380-caliber gun from his waistband and fired, hitting the officer once, police said. He fired three or four more times at Crawford’s belly.

The officer fired six shots from his Glock but missed.

Crawford was hit four times. One bullet went through his notepad. Police said they recovered four shell casings from a .380 about 10 feet from where Crawford fell Monday night.

Crawford, 46, was pronounced dead at Bayfront Medical Center.

Authorities released more details Wednesday of the events the led to Crawford’s death.

Nick Lindsey, a 16-year-old Gibbs High School sophomore, was arrested late Tuesday on a first-degree murder charge.

Investigators said Lindsey had broken into a white Dodge Neon at an apartment building, using a screwdriver to pop the lock and a brick to break the steering column. But he couldn’t start the car.

Someone spotted him, and called 911. The teen was seen walking about a half block away when Crawford approached.

“He knew that he had a weapon and he didn’t want to get caught with it,” police Maj. Mike Kovacsev said at a news conference Wednesday. But Kovacsev stopped short of saying that was the motive, noting the suspect was a teenager.

Lindsey told investigators he had purchased the gun on the street for $140 a week ago, but wouldn’t say who sold it to him, Kovacsev said. The gun has not been recovered. A dive team Wednesday searched a creek near Tropicana Field; police said Lindsey told investigators he ditched the weapon there or lost it there.

Investigators wanted to ensure the gun hadn’t been ditched in Campbell Park, where children play, and Lindsey assured them it hadn’t been, Kovacsev said.

After the shooting, police said, Lindsey ran toward his mother’s home at Citrus Grove Apartments.

Authorities said he left behind a clue: two Nike sandals, one at the scene and one a couple of blocks away.

A perimeter was set up, with more than 200 law enforcement officers scouring the city, going door-to-door, questioning residents, searching cars and reviewing surveillance video from businesses. But Lindsey got to his home before the police were able to set up their dragnet.

The reward in the case soon hit $100,000.

Kovacsev said he believed a combination of two things – the announcement of the reward, and the release of a surveillance video at an apartment building – were key in identifying Lindsey.

Tips started pouring in after the reward was announced. Many of them were too vague, or didn’t match the description of the shooter that was released. Two, however, provided Lindsey’s name and whereabouts, Kovacsev said.

It has not been determined how much of the reward will be distributed or to whom.

“We could not have done this without the community’s help,” Kovacsev said.

Lindsey’s two significant prior brushes with the law touched on auto theft.

He was arrested on Aug. 6, 2009, while he was practicing football. A few days before, he and two others had tried to break into a woman’s Dodge Caravan. The door locks were broken and the ignition had been punched. Lindsey’s print was found on a door.

Lindsey, then a student at John Hopkins Middle School, told officers he ran into the other two on his way to his girlfriend’s house, and if they were successful stealing it, he would have used the mini-van to drive to his girlfriend’s house, a police report states. Because he was so cooperative, an officer released him to his parents’ custody.

The case was dropped because the owner of the mini-van didn’t purse it.

In November of that year, when Lindsey was at Gibbs High School, a 2004 tan Chrysler convertible was stolen. He and four others were implicated in the crime. Lindsey denied being involved.

The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office did not pursue criminal charges against Lindsey.

10 Responses

  1. Simpleton Patriot

    For all you Blackies out there (I know you don’t like the “N” word) who think that stealing a car to drive to your teenage girlfriends house to impregnate her is cool, then shooting (and killing) a cop shouldn’t get you arrested and that the cops shouldn’t kick your ass ’till your lifeless body lays on the groud gushing blood, your all a bunch of assholes. I don’t care if you’re white, black, yellow or something in between you should should be hung in front of city hall so we can all whatch you die the death you deserve. As for the cop that fired six rounds and didn’t kill the SOB, shame on him!!!

  2. Outraged

    The kid’s a murderer; treat him as such. Age isn’t a factor at this point in time.

    To “Simpleton Patriot”, I think your last statement was out of line. The Officer returned fire after BEING SHOT several times. Go ahead and try to hit a target when you’re bleeding out and in shock. Come on.

  3. Harry Baals

    Load this punk up with some potassium chloride.

  4. Craig Cox

    Somali pirates…African Americans….no difference!

  5. Xtina

    I heard about the free lil nick Facebook page this morning on the show! Spice is right… There is a problem with society. Please provide us with the link to this facebook page, so bubba army can stand up for this fallen St. Pete police officer and his family. This stupid ass belongs where he is. It truly amazes me that someone would create a page dedicated to this monster. Pure ignorance. By the way… what is it going to take to STOP THE KILLING!!

  6. sean

    bubba, if i remember my history lessons. it was the africans who fought and enslaved each other, then sold the prisoners to the europeans. listening to your show today, l am still astounded that white people are catching the full brunt of the blame on that. yes, that’s right. africans were enslaving each other long before europeans showed up.

  7. Xtina

    This has nothing to do with race… Can we move pass ignorance please.

  8. brad

    fry him slow and long til hes crispy

  9. daniel

    i was once told by a mixed(half black half white) guy that i was guilty by association. but truthfully im not guilty for anything. i didnt enslave anyone. just think that this topic should be dropped but it wont because ignorance will never die. just think that we should go to simple fundamentals. an eye for an eye. maybe people would stop being sooo stupid.

  10. Johnny D

    Hey XTINA,I’m sick and FN tired of you people butchering-up the english language!!! It’s PAST not PASS you idiot!!! Just like it’s ASK , not ASSS so you and Rozz can sniff my gooch you retards! Very Truly Yours, White Rugged Man. A.K.A. Johnny D

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