Edward Crawford, the Ferguson protestor featured in the iconic photo capture of a man hurling a canister of tear gas, was found dead on Thursday night. He was reported dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 11:46 p.m., according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“I don’t believe it was a suicide,” Crawford’s father told the the St.Louis Post-Dispatch, adding that investigators were being “hush-hush” regarding further details.
“He was wonderful, great, always in a good mood,” his father continued. “He just got a new apartment and was training for a new job.”
The incident mirrors the deaths of Darren Seals and Deandre Joshua, who were both found shot dead inside of burning vehicles. Joshua, Seals and Crawford were all active during the Ferguson protests following the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by former Ferguson law enforcement officer, Darren Wilson. Protests were ignited after a grand jury declined to charge Wilson with a crime in Brown’s shooting death.
According to Reuters, Seals told MTV in a 2014 interview, “I don’t recall anyone having a longer protest, a more productive protest, a more creative protest than what we did. I don’t think people will ever really appreciate what we did until years from now.”
St. Louis Police Officers have yet to identify suspects in either Seals’ or Joshua’s cases. It is still being determined whether or not Crawford’s gunshot wound was accidental.
Schron Jackson of The St. Louis Police Department’s Public Information Division told CASSIUS via email:
“Two witnesses stated the victim was occupying the backseat of the vehicle they were in, which was traveling eastbound on Salisbury approaching Blair. The victim began expressing he was distraught over personal matters to the witnesses. The witnesses heard the victim rummaging in the backseat, then heard a gunshot and observed the victim had sustained a gunshot wound to the head. The victim was pronounced deceased on the scene. The Medical Examiner’s Office responded and initiated an investigation. They advised the incident appears to be a suicide; however the official cause of death is pending the results of an autopsy. Homicide was requested to the scene but it was determined to be handled district-level.”
The investigation is ongoing.
This story was updated on Friday, May 5, 2017 at 1:34 p.m. EST.