KCEN Meteorologist Released from Hospital After Shooting

More Video...
By  | 

TEMPLE (December 26, 2014) KCEN meteorologist Patrick Crawford has been released from the hospital.

Crawford's wife, also a KCEN employee, posted the news on her professional Facebook profile Friday evening.

"Patrick continues to get better every day," wrote Heather Brinkman.

"He still is in a lot of pain but he continues to amaze me with his positive attitude."

It was not immediately clear when Crawford was released.

He had been hospitalized since last Wednesday after being shot while leaving the KCEN-TV studios in Bruceville-Eddy.

During a press conference held Monday, Crawford reiterated that despite previous media reports, he did not exchange words with the gunman.

"The man that shot me didn't say any words, no interaction whatsoever, I did not know him," explained Crawford. "He just started shooting."

Crawford also said he hopes the gunman will be brought to justice soon.

The Falls County CrimeStoppers is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the man who gunned down Crawford.

An anonymous donor added $5,000 Saturday to the original $5,000 reward for information being offered.

KCEN-TV contributed to an additional $10,000 Monday.

A forensic artist on Thursday worked with KCEN-TV meteorologist Patrick Crawford to create a composite sketch of the gunman who opened fire on the forecaster Wednesday morning in the parking lot of the station between Waco and Temple.

The sketch was released late Thursday afternoon.

Crawford, who appears on KCEN's morning news broadcast, underwent surgery Wednesday at Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Temple.

He told investigators Thursday morning that he did not know the man who shot him, Department of Public Safety Trooper D.L. Wilson said.

During a brief news conference late Thursday afternoon at the hospital, Dr. Matthew Davis said Crawford is "sleepy, but happy" with family members at his bedside.

Davis said Crawford suffered a single penetrating gunshot wound to the abdomen and graze wounds to the shoulder and head.

He was in stable condition when he arrived at the hospital Wednesday morning and never lost consciousness Davis said.

He went into surgery at around noon Wednesday and the operation, which Davis described as routine, was completed within 90 minutes to two hours.

DPS troopers continued to patrol in the area of the station Thursday, but authorities say the search for the gunman has been scaled back, at least temporarily, Wilson said.

Dogs brought in to search for the gunman found scent trails, but investigators now think the suspect had a vehicle and may have left the area after the shooting, Wilson said.

Officers continued to search into the evening hours Wednesday.

The station issued a statement Wednesday evening that said Crawford "is in stable condition and resting."

"Patrick's wife, of just over a year, Heather Crawford, who is also a KCEN employee, is with him now at the hospital," the station said.

"We do not know who the shooter was or if he is connected in any way to KCEN or its employees," the station said.

The gunman fled on foot after the shooting and evidently ran into a wooded area behind the station, which remained a focus of the search Wednesday afternoon, Wilson said during a late afternoon news conference.

Authorities arrested a man they described as a possible suspect early Wednesday afternoon, but later said he was not involved, although he was taken into custody on unrelated warrants.

The gunman is white, in his mid-30s, balding, and was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and dark jeans, authorities said.

He's armed with a semi-automatic handgun, they said.

Authorities urged residents in the area to keep their doors locked and to call 911 if they see any suspicious activity.

"He has not been seen yet," Department of Public Safety Trooper Harpin Myers said late Wednesday afternoon.

"We're going to do whatever possible to try to get the suspect," he said. "We're not going to rest until it's done," he said.

Texas Rangers are heading the investigation of the shooting, which happened at around 9:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Crawford was shot in the abdomen and grazed in the shoulder after the gunman confronted him as he was getting into his car after walking out of the TV studio along Interstate 35.

The two exchanged words, although it's not clear whether they simply talked or argued, and then the suspect pulled out the semi-automatic handgun and opened fire.

Crawford was able to shift in reverse, back away from the gunman, and then drive out of the parking lot and across the I-35 access road before the vehicle came to a stop, Wilson said.

His actions may have saved his life, Wilson said.

Two nearby construction workers came to his aid, Wilson said, and a DPS trooper who arrived a short time later also helped administer first aid until paramedics arrived.

The gunman fired 13 times and 11 of the shots hit the car, authorities said.

Crawford was struck once in the abdomen and grazed in the shoulder and head.

The motive for the shooting remains a mystery.

Crawford joined KCEN in September 2012 after working for the NBC affiliate in New Orleans, according to his website profile.

He grew up in Plano and graduated from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. where he earned his degree in meteorology, the profile says.

(Paul Gately, Tainia Maya, Bethany Moore, Ethan Hutchins and Jim Peeler contributed to this story)

Patrick Crawford (KCEN-TV photo)