Cop Killed in Calif. Traffic-Stop Shootout

Officer Down: Officer Matthew Pavelka - [Burbank Police Department, California]

Cop Killed in Calif. Traffic-Stop Shootout

Sunday, November 16, 2003

BURBANK, Calif. ? A gunfight erupted in downtown Burbank (search) during what began as a routine traffic stop, killing a gunman and a police officer and wounding a second officer.

A second gunman was being sought Sunday in this Los Angeles (search) suburb.

The shootout happened about 6:30 p.m. Saturday when the officers pulled over a sports utility vehicle, said police Sgt. William Berry. He did not say what the nature of the stop was.

The men in the SUV "apparently ... came out of the vehicle firing," Berry said. "The officers were hit several times but still managed to kill one of the suspects."

Officer Matthew Pavelka, 26, who was called in for backup, died in surgery Saturday night, police spokeswoman Lyn DeBoeven said. Officer Gregory Campbell, 41, was hospitalized Sunday in critical condition.

Berry said both officers were wearing bulletproof vests.

It wasn't immediately clear what prompted the shooting. "There are only four known witnesses to the shooting," the two officers and the gunmen, Berry said.

As police searched the area, the California Highway Patrol (search) closed a five-mile stretch of Interstate 5 for several hours.

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