ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Detectives say the murder of a veteran police officer was set into motion when he stopped and questioned a 16-year-old young man. When Officer David Crawford pulled out his notepad, police say Nicholas Lindsey drew a .380 handgun, aimed and fired.
"What he did then, in his own words, was fire three more rounds. He pointed at the officer's belly and hit Officer Crawford. He was hit four times. Possibly five times," said St. Petersburg Police Department Major Mike Kovacsev during an afternoon news conference Wednesday.
Detectives said Lindsey ditched the handgun when he ran, possibly into Brooker Creek near Tropicana Field.
But it's the moments leading up to the shooting that help answer why Lindsey was so desperate to get away.
"Mr. Lindsay was in the area trying to beak into the vehicle and steal a vehicle at the scene. We found out he tried to break into a white Dodge Neon. He used a screwdriver to pop the driver side lock and actually used one of the bricks that we had a witness call in to break the column," said Chief Chuck Harmon.
Lindsey had been arrested and spent time at juvenile facility for vehicle theft in the past. But detectives tell us tipsters in the Campbell Park neighborhood helped police find him.
"The video that went out, I think, and the reward money that was also put out yesterday 1 o'clock, I think that was the catalyst. About 2:30, we started getting our first calls," Maj. Kovacsev said.
Two tipsters, who police will only identify as not family, are being vetted for the $100,000 reward offered by the FBI, local law enforcement and area non-profits.
The chief says they are crucial to finding Lindsey so quickly.
“This was a financial incentive to also be a good citizen. But it’s certainly our intent to pay out every dime that we can to those that are eligible,” Chief Harmon said.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Tampa police are currently investigating a shooting that occurred at 706 West Amelia Avenue.