The troopers were not aware the driver had committed a bank robbery earlier that day.
The Wisconsin State Patrol has identified the suspected bank robbery and armed carjack suspect who was fatally shot by three Troopers on Dec. 9 near Fort Atkinson.
Joseph R. Crawford, 23, was shot multiple times in the chest after attempting an armed carjacking after his car stopped in a median during a pursuit with troopers. Crawford is suspected of a bank robbery that occurred in Monona earlier that day. In that robbery, Crawford is suspected of showing a gun and ordering the two employees to take him to the vault. The man fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.
According to a press release,
At approximately 12:30 pm, Wisconsin State Patrol attempted a traffic stop for speeding on Highway 26 between Watertown and Johnson Creek. One driver and one passenger were inside the vehicle. The vehicle stopped for a short time, and the only passenger fled the vehicle, then the vehicle fled the scene. The passenger, Desmond Watkins, age 22, was later apprehended. Wisconsin State Patrol pursued the vehicle. While pursuing, the individual inside the car fired shots from the vehicle at law enforcement.
The vehicle continued southbound on Highway 26, road spikes were deployed, and the vehicle struck them. The vehicle exited Highway 26 at Highway 12 and came to a stop in the median. The driver exited the vehicle with a handgun and attempted to carjack a civilian. Three Wisconsin State Patrol Troopers then discharged their weapons and struck the subject.
Law enforcement began life-saving measures on the driver. However, the driver, Joseph R. Crawford, age 23, died of multiple gunshot wounds at the scene.
No law enforcement personnel or other involved individuals were injured during the incident.
Crawford also went by the alias Crawford-Lamal. According to the Wisconsin DOC, he was released on 2019 to supervision. In 2018, he was accused of a violent home invasion while homeless. Channel 3000 reported that Crawford-Lamal and another men broke into a Madison home and battered its occupants. He pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct ticket in March, according to court records. In 2018, he was convicted of felony bail jumping. That same year he was convicted of felonies for misappropriating an ID. He was also convicted of disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property with domestic abuse assessment. In 2016, he was also convicted of disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property. In 2015, he was convicted of felony burglary. In 2014, he was cited for resisting an officer.
The State Patrol identified the involved troopers as:
Trooper Keegan Williams, five years of law enforcement experience,
Trooper Alexander Polizzi, three years of law enforcement experience, and
Trooper David Heinisch, one year of law enforcement experience
According to a Monona Police Press release,
On Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, at approximately 9:44 a.m., City of Monona Police Officers responded to a report of an armed bank robbery at Summit Credit Union, 5809 Monona Drive, Monona, WI.
Upon arrival, Officers learned a sole male suspect entered the bank where he contacted two employees before he brandished a hand gun and ordered the two employees to the vault. The suspect left the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash, fleeing on foot to a vehicle parked nearby. Witnesses outside the bank saw the suspect drive off traveling west on Frost Woods Road, in what was believed to be an older model Oldsmobile Alero, or similar type vehicle.
Officers canvassed the local neighborhood and were able to obtain video of the suspect vehicle leaving the area. The vehicle and suspect images were circulated to local law enforcement agencies. Shortly after circulating the images, the Monona Police Department was notified that the suspect vehicle appeared to be the same as that in the Officer Involved Death (OID) Investigation Near Fort Atkinson, currently under investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI).
While Monona Detectives and the FBI continue their investigation into the Bank Robbery, it is believed the suspect in our case is Joseph R. Crawford, the same person who died in the OID Investigation near Fort Atkinson.