"Not again…": St. Petersburg police officer shot and killed near downtown

Many of us who live near downtown St. Petersburg awoke early this morning to flashlights and copters, as SWAT teams searched our front porches and back yards for the suspect who killed police officer David S. Crawford around 10:30 p.m. last night.

According to published reports, Officer Crawford was shot near Eighth Street and Third Avenue S. during an investigation of a reported prowler. Sections of Central Avenue, Eight and Ninth Streets and three local schools were closed while the manhunt continued.

This marks the third death of a police officer in the line of duty in St. Petersburg in less than a month: Officers Jeffrey Yaslowitz and Thomas Baitinger were shot and killed in a face-off with an armed suspect on Jan. 24.

The St. Petersburg Times reported on "the look of shock" Police Chief Chuck Harmon saw on the faces of his officers.

"As I saw their faces tonight it was . . . not again," Harmon said.

The Tampa Bay area shares in that shock and sadness.