Edward Crawford, Ferguson Activist In Iconic Protest Photo, Found Dead
Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP

The man behind a now-iconic photo of the Ferguson, Mo protests following the police shooting of Michael Brown has been found dead.

Edward Crawford, 27, was found dead overnight in St. Louis’ Hyde Park neighborhood. Police say his death appears to be caused by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports. While police have not released the victim’s name, the father of Crawford, Edward Sr., confirmed his death to the Post-Dispatch.

Crawford became an iconic figure of the movement for Black lives after he was photographed by Robert Cohen lobbing an active tear gas canister in the midst of a demonstration. While many outlets reported that Crawford was throwing the canister back toward police, the father of four told the Post Dispatch in 2015 that he was throwing it “out of the way of children.” Crawford was initially charged with interfering with a police officer and assault after the incident.

While police are investigating whether the victim shot himself on purpose or by accident, Edward Sr. does not believe that his son was suicidal, telling the Post-Dispatch that just two days ago, his son was in “good spirits.”

“He was wonderful, great, always in a good mood,” the father said. “He just got a new apartment and was training for a new job.”

About the investigation, being handled by district detectives, Crawford’s father said authorities are “being hush-hush.”

This is the third time since the death of Michael Brown that a protester active in city’s uprising has been found dead. Prominent Ferguson activist Darren Seals was found dead inside of a burning car last fall, while DeAndre Joshua was shot to death and torched inside a car in November 2014. As noted by The Daily Beast, Seals death was also the sixth time a Ferguson man was shot and burned in a vehicle.

This is a developing story.

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