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


Most Recent Reflection

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I’m writing a post on Facebook, on a page, called, Justice4ErickaBrair and I thought of you. I remember going to jury duty and watching the news there, when it said they were looking for jurors for your trial. I thought, this was my lucky day. I knew the man who did it should have gotten the death penalty. When the judge asked if anyone knew any of the officers names that were mentioned, even though the officers didn’t know who I was, I had to tell the truth and raise my hand. They never even heard of my name but I heard of their name, because of Ericka Brair. If I didn’t get involved with the Ericka Brair case, I would have been able to serve on that panel and found that man guilty! That was the last jury duty I ever had. I think about your wife and a little little one all the time I guess the little ones not so little anymore. You’ve been in my prayers And I look at the Philadelphia Police Department in the totally different way now! You would think by now, I would’ve forgotten about that day, but I don’t I don’t think I ever will. So yes, I was a juror on that panel but wasn’t picked. I want to thank you for your service and for all that you’ve done as a Philadelphia police officer. Rest in peace, Sir, And thank you for making us alll feel safe.

Nickname, KarenZep

March 16, 2024

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