BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is probing a Baxter Springs weekend case in which a woman and child were shot to death, and the gunman then killed after a three-hour, bullet-laced standoff with police.
Taylor Dawn Shutte, 27, and Clesslyn Crawford, 2, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to authorities. The shooter was identified as Eli Crawford, 37. He was shot and killed by a Joplin police SWAT team officer.
The Baxter Springs Police Department was dispatched at 7:14 p.m. Saturday to the 300 block of Wyandotte Avenue after receiving a disturbance call from a woman who said she needed help, according to a news release from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department. Officers knocked on the door of the residence, which was a camping trailer. Crawford originally opened the door but pulled it shut after seeing law enforcement, according to a KBI statement.
Crawford’s daughter then reopened the door, and Shutte ran outside with Crawford following and fatally shooting her. He also began shooting at the four responding officers and ducked back inside the trailer. After the gunman was hit, officers found Crawford and the child dead inside the trailer.
The Baxter Springs police and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department were the first to respond, with assistance then from the KBI, Kansas Highway Patrol, and the Joplin police SWAT team. KBI, the lead investigator on the case, said that Crawford is believed to have used several guns to fire over 90 rounds from the trailer.
The suspect was shot with one round at approximately 9:25 p.m. Saturday by a Joplin officer who is a member of the SWAT team, the Joplin Police Department said Monday afternoon. The officer who shot the suspect has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in such cases. The officer has not been publicly identified.
Officials said the standoff lasted for nearly three and a half hours. No law enforcement members were injured.
The investigation is ongoing, and autopsies are scheduled. No further information was being released Monday. The KBI findings in the investigation are to be turned over to the Cherokee County attorney for review.
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