A TODDLER was shot dead by a Missouri cop during a hostage situation at a camping trailer in Kansas, authorities have revealed.
The tragic incident occurred on March 26 when two-year-old Clesslynn Crawford and her mother were held at gunpoint by her father, Eli Crawford, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation said.
Authorities responded to the Cherokee County home around 7.15pm after a woman called 911 and requested help with a “domestic disturbance,” the KBI said.
Eli Crawford, 37, opened the door to his trailer when police arrived and slammed it shut upon seeing authorities.
Police said the situation escalated when Clesslynn reopened the door, and her mother, Taylor Shutte, 27, ran out of the trailer.
Crawford shot the woman dead before firing off over 90 rounds at four police officers, who didn’t return fire, officials said.
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Authorities say Crawford used multiple guns when shooting at police.
Multiple agencies arrived at the scene due to the high intensity, including the Joplin Police SWAT team.
The KBI revealed this week that Clesslynn was killed when a Joplin police officer fired a single shot into the trailer. Her father died from a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.
“This is a horrific outcome to what had already started as a very tragic incident,” Joplin Police Chief Sloan Rowland said.
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The police chief's statement did not explain why the officer took the shot.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families involved and the surrounding community. We ask that you pray for the victims and everyone involved,” Rowland said.
No law enforcement personnel were injured in the situation and an investigation was ongoing, the KBI said in a press release.
“We ask the public for patience as KBI agents finish their work. The incident is being thoroughly and independently investigated.
“Once it concludes, the findings will be presented to the Cherokee County Attorney to determine if criminal charges will be filed.”
Autopsies were scheduled for all three family members, the officials said.
Clesslynn was buried on Wednesday. Her obituary described her as being “full of life" with a bubbly personality.
"She was very loving and always happy,” it said.
“Clesslynn loved Minnie Mouse, her binky and never passed up a chance to dance. She would talk to you for days and was the definition of ‘A BOSS BABY.’
"She always loved to cuddle, and although little, she was very fierce. Clesslynn had the eyes of an angel and a smile that could warm anyone’s heart. There was never a dull moment around this sweet girl.”
Unfortunately, this is the latest tragedy for Clesslynn’s family. In February 2020, her eight- and six-year-old cousins Kynzee and Laynee Norris were reportedly killed in a house fire.
Their older sister and grandfather managed to escape.
The damage was so extensive that investigators could not determine a cause, however, it is believed that a burning wood stove might have been the reason.
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