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FILE - In this Nov. 25, 2014, file photo, people watch as stores burn in Ferguson, Mo., after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old who was unarmed. A federal judge has chosen a monitor team to oversee reforms of Ferguson's policing and court system. U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry announced Monday, July 25, 2016, that Squire Patton Boggs, a law firm based in Cleveland, was picked to make sure reforms are adequate in the St. Louis suburb. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

The man featured in an iconic Ferguson photo was found dead


A man featured in an iconic photo taken during the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri, was found dead. 

The St. Louis County medical examiner's office said Edward Crawford Jr.'s death was reported as a suspected suicide. He was pronounced deceased just before midnight on Thursday. 

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department told NBC News that Crawford shot himself in the backseat of a moving car. 

I don't believe it was a suicide.
Edward Crawford Sr.

Crawford's father, Edward Sr. told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he believes this was an accidental shooting. 

Crawford Sr. added that he'd seen his son two days ago and he was in good spirits. 

"He just got a new apartment and was training for a new job," Crawford Sr. told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Crawford was featured in the photo above, which won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography in 2015. In the photo, Crawford is seen taking a smoking tear gas canister that police fired at Ferguson protestors and throwing it back at them. Crawford gained local celebrity status after coming forward as the man pictured in the famous photo. 

Crawford's death comes eight months after the murder of Darren Seals, another prominent Ferguson protestor. Seals was found shot death in a burning car last year. 

Similarly, Deandre Joshua was found shot to death in a burning car outside a Ferguson apartment complex close to where Michael Brown was killed. 

These deaths have prompted some to question whether Crawford's death was actually a suicide. 

“We’ve had three or four shootings, two of which have been quite similar to one another,” Maria Chappelle-Nadal, a state senator from Missouri, told the Washington Post. “Whether it’s a suicide, whether it was a mistake, whether it was a murder, it is a huge loss.”

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