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Manhunt on Cleveland's West Side

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  • Manhunt on Cleveland's West Side

    Two children among five dead on West 89th Street
    Posted by The Plain Dealer staff March 05, 2009 21:27PM
    Updated at 10:15 p.m.

    An areawide manhunt is underway by Cleveland police to find a 33-year-old man suspected of shooting at least six people this evening on West 89th Street north of Detroit Avenue.

    Five of those people are already dead.

    MetroHealth Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Christopher said that three children were shot and taken to the hospital, and two were dead.


    Davon Crawford The man, Davon Crawford, a light-skinned black man, a little more than six feet tall and weighing between 210 and 250 pounds, police said.
    Crawford frequents the West Side neighborhood where the shooting occurred, but he lives on the southeastern part of the city. He works at a place called Eurofish off Miles Parkway.

    Crawford left the scene on foot and is believed to have at least one semi-automatic handgun. He is considered extremely dangerous. If you see him, get away and call 9-1-1.

    A family member showed up at Dairy Mart at West 89th and Detroit. The woman was overhead sobbing into a cell phone, "My sister's dead. My sister's dead. They are all dead.

    All the police's special teams -- SWAT, vice and gang units -- as well as numerous detectives and patrol officers, are converging on the area. The city's police helicopter is overhead.

    A family member showed up at Dairy Mart at West 89th and Detroit. The woman was overhead sobbing into a cell phone, "My sister's dead. My sister's dead. They are all dead. A woman sobbing into a cell phone.

    All the police's special teams -- SWAT, vice and gang unit -- as well as numerous detectives and patrol officers, are converging on the area. The city's police helicopter is overhead.

    Crawford has a violent history involving his family.

    According to Cuyahoga County's online court records, he was sent to prison in 2002 after a domestic violence incident that involved a gun and children.

    Crawford faced multiple charges and pleaded guilty to felonious assault, endangering children and other charges.

    A judge sent him to Lorain Correctional Institution for at least five years.

    If Crawford is guilty, this would not be the first time he has killed.

    When he was 19, he shot and killed 22-year-old Joseph Smith in March 1995 in a dispute over a girlfriend. He pleaded guilty later that year to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to five to 25 years in prison.

    "I didn't mean to take a life, but a life is took," Crawford said during his trial. "I apologize to the family [of Smith], but I did what I had to do."

    It was not immediately clear Thursday night how many years of that sentence he served, but by March 3, 2002, he had returned to the streets and was again under arrest. This time he was charged with several crimes, including domestic violence with a firearm.

    He pleaded guilty in August 2002 to felonious assault with a firearm, endangering children, having weapon while on parole, and failure to comply with an officer's order

    His criminal past dates even farther back. He was charged with receiving stolen property after a November 1997 arrest, but that charge was dismissed.

    Tonight's shooting is one of the deadliest mass-murders in Cleveland history.

    This is one of deadliest mass-murders in recent memory.

    It is not uncommon for there to be three homicides in Cuyahoga County in a day. This happened at least 20 times since 2001, according to a Plain Dealer analysis of coroner's records.

    But the five homicides in one evening makes this one of the five deadliest days in the city during this period.

    Check cleveland.com later for updates on this story

    http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2009...hot_on_we.html

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