Toddler fatally shot by officer in Kansas standoff: KBI

Babysitter who pleaded guilty to charges related to toddler's death receives probation
Posted at 6:56 AM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 07:56:16-04

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. (AP) — A toddler found dead inside a southeast Kansas home after a standoff between her father and law enforcement officers was fatally shot by a police officer, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation said Monday.

The KBI announced preliminary findings from its review of the deadly March 26 shootings in Baxter Springs in which Eli Crawford, 37, fired at officers for more than three hours, according to authorities. The KBI called the standoff a hostage situation.

He died, along with 2-year-old Clesslyn Crawford and her mother, 27-year-old Taylor Dawn Shutte.

Crawford and the toddler were found dead inside the home, and Shutte, outside the home. Crawford shot Shutte multiple times as she left the home when Baxter Spring police responded to a call for help, the KBI said.

The Cherokee County sheriff’s office has said Crawford fired at police and sheriff’s deputies, and they sought help from the Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Joplin, Missouri, police SWAT team. Joplin is 15 miles (24 kilometers) northeast of Baxter Springs.

The KBI says Crawford is believed to died from a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound. Clesslyn died after being struck by the single shot fired by a Joplin officer.

The KBI said its investigation is ongoing.