Around 7:15 p.m. on March 26, officers from the Baxter Springs Police Department responded to a 911 call asking for help at an address in Baxter Springs in regards to an ongoing domestic disturbance, according to a press release from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI).
Once at the scene, police said they knocked on the door and 37-year-old Eli Crawford answered the door. When he saw it was the police, he slammed the door shut. Shortly afterward, Crawford’s 2-year-old daughter, Clesslynn J. Crawford, reopened the door and 27-year-old Taylor D. Shutte ran outside.
At this point, Eli stepped outside of the trailer and shot and killed Shutte, officials said. He also started shooting at the four responding officers, but they were able to retreat to a safe distance without returning fire. However, Eli continued to shoot at them.
More police and law enforcement arrived at the scene, as officials say Eli used several guns to fire over 90 rounds at police from inside the trailer. Around 9:30 p.m., a police officer fired one round into the trailer and then officers approached the residence and found Eli dead inside from a gunshot wound.
Officers also found Shutte and Clesslynn dead from fatal gunshot wounds. No officers were injured during the hostage situation, police said.
While the investigation is ongoing, KBI released a statement saying preliminary findings showed that Shutte was killed just outside the trailer after she was struck by multiple gunshots fired by Eli. Police believe Eli died of a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The investigation also states that 2-year-old Clesslynn died as a result of the single round fired by an officer from the Joplin Police Department, officials said.
KBI states the investigation is ongoing and being thoroughly and independently investigated. Once it is done, they will present the details to the Cherokee County Attorney and determine if criminal charges will be filed. They ask for the public’s patience as they work on the investigation.