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St. Petersburg mourns loss of third officer
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ST. PETERSBURG - St. Petersburg police are continuing to look for a suspect wanted in the Monday night shooting of one of its own.

Officer David Crawford, 46, is the third St. Petersburg Police officer killed in the line of duty in less than a month.

“The city of St. Petersburg mourns deeply the loss of Officer David Crawford, a 25-year veteran of the St. Petersburg Police Department,” is the statement posted on the city’s website Tuesday morning.

As law enforcement officers continue to hunt for the armed suspect, three St. Petersburg schools were relocated. School buses and several Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus routes were detoured away from the area where the search is concentrated.

Due to road closures associated with an ongoing police investigation and manhunt, PSTA has enacted detours to routes serving areas just south of Tropicana Field. The routes affected are the 7, 5, 20, 23 and 79. For specific details on the detours, PSTA encourages patrons to check the “Rider Alert” page on www.P­STA.n­et or call the PSTA Info Line at 727-540-1900.

Students attending Campbell Park Elementary, 1051 Seventh Ave. S.; John Hopkins Middle School, 701 16th St. S; and Melrose Elementary, 1752 13th Ave. S, were relocated to other schools on Tuesday.

School officials say that Campbell Park Elementary, John Hopkins Middle and Melrose Elementary will be closed until the conclusion of the investigation. Campbell Park students will attend Fairmount Park Elementary, located at 575 41st St. S, John Hopkins Middle School students will attend school at Thurgood Marshall Middle School, located at 3901 22nd Ave., and Melrose students will attend Perkins Elementary, located at 2205 18th Ave. S.

Parents of students who are car riders or walkers should take their children to the alternate school.

Bus transportation at bus stops in the area between Fifth Ave. S and 15th Ave. S. and between Fourth St. S. and 16th St. S. has been suspended for any Pinellas County School student. Parents should make plans to transport their children to the alternative school. Parents of students at any school who are assigned to bus stops in this area need to make plans to transport their child to their assigned school.

The district will be notifying parents of these changes through an automated phone call and will update them as the investigation continues.

According to reports, Crawford was shot multiple times just before 10:30 p.m. Feb. 21.

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster asks the entire community to keep Officer Crawford's family and all the men and women of the St. Petersburg Police Department in their thoughts and prayers.
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