Police Officer John Pawlowski

Police Officer John Pawlowski

Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Friday, February 13, 2009

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John Pawlowski

Officer John Pawlowski was shot and killed after responding to a dispute between a cab driver and a male.

Officer Pawlowski and his partner responded to the Logan section of Philadelphia after a cab driver called 911 to report a dispute. During the dispute, the cab driver had told the suspect that he was going to call the police, to which the suspect responded "'If you call police, I shoot you plus the police."

When the officers arrived, the cab driver pointed out the subject. Officer Pawlowski and his partner approached the male, who was dressed in a black, three-quarter length coat. The suspect had his hands in his pockets. Officer Pawlowski ordered the suspect to show his hands. The suspect did not comply, and immediately opened fire with a .357 handgun, shooting through the pocket of his coat. One round struck Officer Pawlowski in his bullet resistant vest, and a second round struck him in the chest, just above his vest.

Officer Pawlowski was able to return fire, striking the suspect once, before falling to the ground, mortally wounded. Officer Pawlowski's partner and a third officer engaged the suspect in a gun-battle, in which one officer was grazed, and the suspect was shot numerous times.

Officer Pawlowski was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center, where he died from his wounds.

The suspect was arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder, and narcotics possession.

On November 8, 2010, he was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Officer Pawlowski had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for 5 1/2 years. He is survived by his expectant wife. His brother also serves with the Philadelphia Police Department, and his father retired from the agency.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 5 years, 6 months
  • Badge 5649

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .357 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

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Posted on February 16, 2020

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- For years, his face and name has been visible on walls of the 35th police district, right alongside side other heroes of the Philadelphia Police Department.

And on Sunday, the family and friends of Officer John Pawlowski came together to remember a man who sacrificed everything in the line of duty.

"John was a husband, a friend, a hero he was taken away from us February 13, 2009 at the intersection of Broad and Olney," said Ofc. Robert Hoppe.

Hoppe spoke at a vigil outside the 35th District during a vigil.

Officer Pawlowski was shot and killed 11 years ago as he responded with his partner to a call of a dispute between a cab driver and man with a weapon.

That man, later identified as Rasheed Scrugs, reportedly told the cab driver he would shoot police if they came.

Scrugs, who was also later convicted for murder and is serving life without the possibility of parole, shot Pawlowski above his bullet proof vest. Scrugs himself was also shot.

"I just hope no one ever forgets what he did and the sacrifices that he made for our family and the whole city of Philadelphia," said wife, Kim Pawlowski.

She was also in attendance with her children, including her oldest, named after his father whom she was pregnant with at the time of his untimely death.

"You can't cry every day, but this week it always gets me, February 9 comes around and the anxiety building up for all of the events," she said. "Eleven years have passed, I'm still standing," she added.

His brother and sisters in blue supportive as ever.

"In the 35th district we'll never forget John," said one police officer.

And they are reminded daily of the friend, brother, and hero this city lost far too soon.

"He was a fun-loving guy that everyone wanted to hang out with and party with, but he was a hard worker and he loved being a police officer," said Kim Pawlowski.

Officer Pawlowski had served with the department for five and half years.

Retired Police Officer

February 16, 2020

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