Ex-Boyfriend Arrested, Charged With Killing Mom in Front of Her Twin Sons

Officials said the victim was in the process of getting a stay away order against the suspect prior to her death.

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What to Know

  • Donovan Crawford, 28, is accused of shooting and killing his ex-girlfriend, 24-year-old Sykea Patton, in front of her twin 4-year-old sons on Friday.
  • Patton was in the process of getting a stay away order against Crawford prior to the shooting, officials said.
  • Crawford was arrested and charged with murder and violation of uniform firearms act.

Police arrested a man accused of shooting and killing his ex-girlfriend as she walked her twin sons home from school in Philadelphia last week. 

On Friday at 3:11 p.m., Sykea Patton, 24, was walking with her twin 4-year-old sons along the 800 block of North Preston Street when a gunman opened fire. 

Patton was shot multiple times in the torso. She was taken to the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center where she was pronounced dead at 3:44 p.m.

“I’m suffering today,” Sykea’s father, Joseph Patton, told NBC10 during a vigil for his daughter on Saturday. “I lost my daughter because of senseless gun violence. She didn’t deserve what happened to her. No woman deserves that.”  

Sykea Patton

On Monday, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office told NBC10 they identified Patton’s ex-boyfriend, 28-year-old Donovan Crawford, as a suspect in her murder. Officials said Patton was in the process of getting a stay away order against him prior to her death. 


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Crawford was arrested and charged with murder, reckless endangerment and violation of the uniform firearms act. He remained jailed without bail. Online court records don't list an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

As of Tuesday morning, there have been 497 reported homicides in Philadelphia, up 13% from the same time last year, which was ultimately one of the deadliest on record.

Last week, police also reported at least 240 women had been shot in Philadelphia this year, with 61 of them killed. The latest incident occurred Saturday night in which 32-year-old Jessica Covington, who was 7-months pregnant, was shot in Northeast Philadelphia as she was unloading gifts from her baby shower from her car. Both Covington and her unborn child were killed. 

“The gun violence in the city,” Joseph Patton said. “This has to stop. You know this has to stop. I’m 60 years old and they’re killing women and children. Every day here in the city. There’s no respect and there’s no love for nobody no more. We can’t live like this. As a people we have to do better.” 

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.

If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence hotline for help at (800) 799-SAFE (7233) or go to for more. States often have domestic violence hotlines, as well.

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