District Man Charged in Federal Court for Shooting Police Officer
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Was Resisting Arrest When He Shot Officer
WASHINGTON – Mark Crawford, 31, of Washington, D.C., was arraigned today in federal court on charges of assaulting a police officer while armed and for related firearms charges for shooting an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department as the officer was arresting him, announced U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Shea; Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Ashan Benedict; and Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Peter Newsham.
The criminal complaint charges Crawford with assaulting the officer while armed with a Glock handgun and for possessing that handgun unlawfully. ATF traced the firearm and determined that it had been reported stolen from a gun store in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The complaint alleges that on the afternoon of May 12, 2020, officers with the Metropolitan Police Department responded to the 100 block of 35th Street in the southeast quadrant of the District for a report of a barred individual in the area. Crawford matched the description of the barred individual and officers attempted to speak to him. While the officers were speaking to Crawford, he ran from them. The officers apprehended Crawford and he struggled and resisted the efforts of the officers to place him in handcuffs. Once handcuffed, Crawford continued to struggle with the officers as they attempted to stand him upright. Crawford then retrieved a firearm from his waistband and fired, striking one of the officers in the thigh. After shooting the officer, Crawford fired the gun a second time, but did not strike anyone. The defendant was arrested and the gun was recovered. The injured officer was taken to the hospital to be treated for the gunshot wound; the bullet broke the officer’s femur and the officer is undergoing surgery to remove the projectile from behind his knee cap.
“We will not tolerate attacks on police officers in the District of Columbia. The conduct alleged in the criminal complaint caused serious injury to a D.C. Metropolitan Police Department officer, at a time when officers continue to risk their lives to serve and protect the public during this time of crisis. The charges filed in this case should serve as a warning to anyone who would consider resorting to violence against law enforcement,” said U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Shea.
“This situation with a violent, repeat criminal offender is indicative of the risks that law enforcement officers face each day they report for duty,” said ATF Washington Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Ashan M. Benedict. “We are pleased that the injured officer is recovering, and that the suspect is now facing significant federal criminal charges.”
The defendant was arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Judge Harvey ordered the defendant held without bond in this matter. A Criminal Complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct for purposes of establishing probable cause, not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
In announcing the charges, U.S. Attorney Shea, SAC Benedict, and Chief Newsham commended the work of the MPD officers and ATF agents who apprehended the defendant and are investigating the incident. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sara Vanore, Lisa Walters, and George Eliopoulos of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
Updated May 14, 2020
Press Release Number: 20-066