Officer Merle Lee Andrews

Officer Merle Lee Andrews

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Wednesday, December 20, 1967

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Merle Lee Andrews

Officer Merle Andrews was shot and killed while conducting a felony traffic stop of a man wanted in connection with a robbery and kidnapping.

He spotted the vehicle and called for backup as he stopped it near Via Rivera and Paseo Lunado in Palos Verdes Estates. As he approached the vehicle with his weapon drawn, the suspect opened fire, fatally wounding him. The suspect was later apprehended at a drugstore where he held three hostages, who were released unharmed.

The man had told his pastor earlier in the day that he intended to become involved in a shootout with police in order to be shot by them. The suspect was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison on August 30th, 1972.

Officer Andrews had served with the California Highway Patrol for nine years. He was survived by his wife, son, mother, and brother, who also served in law enforcement.


  • Age 39
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge 2769

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .30 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

felony stop, robbery, suicide by cop

Most Recent Reflection

View all 27 Reflections

2023 National Police Officers Memorial Week is over. Our family’s loss is still with us, but is shadowed with so many fond memories of you. Mr. Spychala passed several years ago, just days before CA released him on “Medical Probation.” He didn’t qualify for parole, but this new program, designed to provide better medical care to offenders in my opinion is really a money saving opportunity. The premise is sound, but I’ve already seen too many releases that failed the community and the offender.

I attended nearly all suitability hearings for Mr. Spychala to remind the system of your loss, and the communities loss. I used Pete Beaver as an example each time, as a troubled child (a neighbor, not family) who you assisted even before there was youth diversion programs. In a post on this site, Shelly indicated she didn’t know you, but she did, she was just too young to remember. I remember her laughter at the family Christmas Eve dinner when all of the other adults were talking in the dining room; but, you were laying on the floor showing all of us kids how to spin tops on a rope and laughing as hard as the rest of us.

I continue to wear your memorial band each year during the memorial week as well as bands for fellow officers we lost while I was working at the OCSD. It’s because of you, all fallen officers, and those currently serving their communities, that we all owe gratitude.

Margaret Cady

May 25, 2023

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