crimesider

16-year-old arrested for murder of Florida police officer; suspect confessed, cried, say cops

16-year-old arrested in killing of Florida police officer
CBS/WTSP
16-year-old arrested in killing of Florida police officer
Nicholas Lindsey
CBS/WTSP

(CBS/WTSP/AP) ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A daylong manhunt that covered a swath of a Florida city ended when tips led to the arrest of a 16-year-old who faces a murder charge in the shooting of St. Petersburg police officer David Crawford, the third killed in the line of duty in the past month.

Crawford was shot multiple times Monday night while investigating a report of a prowler in a neighborhood just south of Tropicana Field where the Tampa Bay Rays play baseball. About 24 hours later, officials gathered near headquarters to announce that teenager Nicholas Lindsey was facing a juvenile charge of first-degree murder.

"When he did make the admission on tape for us at the end of the day, it was quite apparent that he was remorseful in his actions," Police Chief Chuck Harmon said during a late night news conference. "He cried."

According to CBS affiliate WTSP, Harmon said the teen had a prior juvenile criminal record but did not give details.

Two officers responded to Monday's call. Crawford, 46, spotted the suspect and got out of his car, Harmon said. At 10:37 p.m., another officer, Donald J. Ziglar, reported an exchange of gunfire and told dispatchers an officer was down.

Ziglar found Crawford lying on the pavement near his cruiser, shot at close range, police said. Crawford was not wearing a bullet proof vest.

Helicopters, SWAT teams, dozens of law enforcement and dogs searched for the gunman and a section of the city was closed to traffic for parts of Monday and into Tuesday.

Prosecutors will decide whether the teen will be charged as an adult. The chief said because of the seriousness of the charge and the teen's prior record he would expect him to face adult charges.

Harmon said Lindsey will be taken to a juvenile lockup and that his parents were cooperating. Harmon said police did not have a motive except to say that there was some exchange between the teen and officer.