St. Petersburg Police release more details into officer shooting

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Last Updated: Wednesday, February 23, 2011

St. Petersburg Police released more details into the murder of Officer David Crawford, including he was struck at least four times.

Crawford was shot in downtown St. Petersburg Monday night after responding to a call about a suspicious person.

Police say the night of the shooting, the suspect, 16-year-old Nicholas Lindsey, was in the area trying to break into a Dodge Neon but was unsuccessful.

Crawford and another officer were dispatched to the scene. Crawford arrived first.

Police say Crawford was shot as he walked up to the suspect.

"He had his notepad out in his hand. When the suspect turned around, he pulled a weapon out and fired a round at Officer Crawford," said Michael Kovacsev, with SPPD. "He fired three more rounds. He pointed at the officer's belly and hit Officer Crawford four times."

Officers found four casings at the scene. Police say Crawford was able to return six rounds, but the suspect was not hit and fled.

"We do know that he was able to break the perimeter before we could set that perimeter-- and get home," Kovacsev said.

Police say the teen purchased the gun off the street for $140.

"He did not wish to let us know who he purchased that firearm from," he said.

Police say the teen alluded to ditching the gun in water after the shooting, possibly in a canal, and was adamant no one would find it.

No motive has been released, but police said the teen indicated he was afraid of getting caught with the weapon.

"You never know in the 16-year-old mind what he was going through," Kovacsev said.

There were no witnesses to the shooting.

Three tips led to the teen's arrest Tuesday night. It's unclear who, if anyone, will get the $100,000 reward, based on various criteria from different agencies who contributed to the reward.

Police say the teen's parents did not know he had a gun.

"They brought him down, they were instrumental in the interview process. They encouraged him to do what was right," Kovacsev said. "It was a tough time for them, I'm sure. They were very cooperative and at no point inhibited the investigation."

Police say the teen appeared remorseful during his interview.

"The fact was he did break down and cry, it was very upsetting, obviously, because he knew he took a life," Kovacsev said, "but he essentially probably will spend the rest of his in prison."

The teen has been appointed a public defender and placed in secured detention. The Pinellas County state attorney's office says it intends on charging Lindsey as an adult, and schedule a grand jury to indict the teen.