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.

Bio

  • 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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Twelve years after my colleague and I traveled to Philadelphia to pay our respects to Officer Pawlowski's family, friends, and fellow officers, I still wear his memorial pin on my uniform tie every February. February 20th will always stand out in my mind as the day I saw a brave American brother in blue laid to rest. Officer Pawlowski, your sacrifice is not forgotten, and may God bless all of your PPD sisters and brothers with safety always.

Inspector Paul Hallett
Durham Regional Police Service, Whitby, Ontario, Canada

February 24, 2021

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