KBI Investigating Officer-Involved Shooting During Hostage Incident

CHEROKEE COUNTY โ€“ The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) is investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred during a barricade and hostage incident in Baxter Springs.

On Saturday, March 26, at approximately 7:15 p.m., officers from the Baxter Springs Police Department responded after a woman called 911 requesting help at 340 Wyandotte Ave. in Baxter Springs due to an ongoing domestic disturbance.

When responding officers arrived, they knocked on the door of the residence, which was a pull behind camping trailer. Eli Crawford, 37, of Baxter Springs, answered the door but after seeing it was police, slammed it back shut. The subjectsโ€™ daughter, 2-year-old Clesslynn J. Crawford, then reopened the door and Taylor D. Shutte, 27, of Webb City, Missouri, ran outside. Crawford then stepped out and shot and killed Shutte. He also began shooting at the four responding officers.

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The officers retreated to a safe distance without returning fire. Gunfire from Crawford continued. Additional law enforcement support arrived from the Cherokee County Sheriffโ€™s Office, and the Joplin Police Departmentโ€™s S.W.A.T. Team. The KBI and the Kansas Highway Patrol also responded.

During the incident Crawford is believed to have used several guns to fire over 90 rounds from the trailer at responding law enforcement officers. At approximately 9:25 p.m., a law enforcement officer fired one round into the camping trailer.

Officers approached the residence and located Eli Crawford deceased inside from a gunshot wound. Shutte and Clesslynn Crawford were also discovered deceased from fatal gunshot wounds. No law enforcement officers were injured during the incident.

The KBI will conduct a thorough and independent investigation into this shooting. Once completed the findings will be turned over to the Cherokee County Attorney for review.

Autopsies are scheduled. The investigation is ongoing.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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