• Arrest made almost 2 years after St. Cloud man was fatally shot at Kissimmee home

    By: Jason Kelly , Samantha Manning


    KISSIMMEE, Fla. - A 21-year-old man was arrested Friday in the 2017 shooting death of a 20-year-old St. Cloud man, the Kissimmee Police Department said.

    James Crawford fatally shot Chase Toops on March 12, 2017, at a home on RJ Circle near Michigan Avenue and Mill Slough Road, police spokeswoman Bailey Myers said.

    "The investigation into the shooter’s identity has been active since 2017. Continued investigative efforts have led our detectives to link Toops' death directly to Crawford," Myers said. "We are actively working to provide more answers for the Toops family."


    Beverly Austin, Toops' grandmother, told Channel 9 she received a call from a detective Friday morning.

    "He called and he said, 'I need you and your husband here now,'" she said.

    Austin said she and her husband traveled to the Police Department to hear the news in person.

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    She said she questioned Crawford shortly after Toops' death.

    "I went over to James' house and flat out knocked on his door, had a conversation," Austin said.

    She said Crawford, who went to middle school with Toops, said he knew nothing about his death, but she suspected otherwise based on information from people who knew her grandson.

    Austin said she is grateful for Crawford's arrest, but she still wants to know a motive.

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    "We still do not know why," she said. "We're hoping this will bring more people forward (who) know things."

    Crawford was booked into the Osceola County Jail on one count of murder and five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

    The shooting remains under investigation.

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