Police suspect murder-suicide

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Just after 10 p.m. Monday, police discovered the bodies of Lawrence Crawford and Virginia Smith in a dark-colored, four-door sedan next to a stand of plum trees in the 300 block of Gaines Avenue.

The car was parked roughly a block away from Crawford’s home. Smith lived at a separate location.

The two Selma residents, both 78, died in an apparent murder-suicide, according to police, sometime between 6 p.m. and 10:12 p.m. when police received a report of a suspicious vehicle and a possible injury.

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A motive for the incident is undetermined.

“I know very little about the victims at this point,” Police Chief Robert Green said. “We do know they had a personal relationship.”

According to police, Smith died from an undetermined number of gunshot wounds to the chest. Green said they won’t know for sure until the Alabama Department of Forensics releases a preliminary autopsy report.

Crawford died from a single gunshot wound to the head.

Police didn’t release any information about the type of weapon used.

“I’m unable to give that information at this time,” Green said.

While the case is under investigation, police don’t know why the crime occurred. Neither victim had ever reported any trouble with the other to police in the past.

Neither drugs nor alcohol was found in the vehicle.

They were seen leaving Captain D’s on Highland at 6 p.m. by witnesses, Green said.

According to Green there were no signs that the car was in motion when the shooting started.

There is little possibility, according to Green, that a third party could have been involved in the shooting.

“It seems…it’s a clear cut case of murder-suicide,” Green said.

This is the eighth murder in Selma this year.

Another murder-suicide occurred in Plantersville last week involving a father and a son.