Ohio police launch manhunt for suspect who killed five
Cleveland police officers block East 89th St. in Cleveland after a multiple-shooting Thursday, March 5, 2009. Police were searching for a suspect after five people were killed and others wounded in a shooting on the city's west side. (AP Photo)
CLEVELAND — Police searched Friday for a newlywed suspected of killing his wife, his sister-in-law and three young children in one of the city's most horrific shootings in years.
The victims were found Thursday night on the top floor a two-family home on the city's west side, police said.
Authorities said they were searching for 33-year-old Davon Crawford, whose wife, Lechea Crawford, 30, was among those killed.
Police identified the other victims as Lechea Crawford's sister Rose Stevens, 25, and her three children: Destiny Woods, 4; and 2-year-old twins Dion and Davion Primm. Another child was being treated at MetroHealth Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Susan Christopher said.
Authorities had previously said the victims were one woman and four children; there was no immediate explanation Friday for the discrepancy.
A police helicopter assisted in the search and authorities were checking transit system buses.
"It's probably one of the worst multiple shootings that I've seen in a long time," said Police Chief Michael McGrath.
Crawford served almost five years in prison for voluntary manslaughter, according to prison records. He was released in 2000, returned to prison on a felonious assault conviction and released again in 2007.
Outside the home, Lamar Arnold told The Plain Dealer that Crawford, whom he recognized from a police photo, was the man who had married his daughter on Monday.
Arnold said his daughter had sent him an unusual cell phone text message at 7:47 p.m. Thursday saying "Call me, live your life, love it."
"Then I tried to call her about 12 times, and there never was an answer," he said.
Police said there were two rental units in the house, and all the victims were killed in the upstairs apartment. The building is on a tree-lined street of older, mostly two-story frame houses and some apartment buildings.
India Cobb told WJW-TV she saw Crawford, whom she identified as a cousin, earlier Thursday and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
"It didn't seem anything was wrong or anything like that," Cobb said. "He just got married ... He just had a baby girl. I don't understand what went wrong. I don't know what happened. I'm still trying to find out myself."
While on parole, which ended last year, Crawford passed several urine tests for drugs, paid his child support, had a full-time job and no run-ins with authorities, according to Andrea Carson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
A crowd milled around late Thursday near the home, including some who said they were family and friends of the victims.
Shortly after midnight, about four hours after the shootings, several women whom police had let into the cordoned-off area came back in tears, got into a car and left. Another woman walked away from the scene.