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Police Officers Shot to Death in Compton, Gunman Escape

February 23, 1993

COMPTON, Calif. (AP) _ Two police officers, one of them working his next to last shift, were shot to death by gunmen in a pickup truck pulled over during a traffic stop, investigators said. The gunmen escaped.

Reserve Officer James Wayne MacDonald, 23, and Officer Kevin Michael Burrell, 29, were each shot several times after stopping a truck shortly before midnight Monday in this southern Los Angeles suburb.

At least two people were in the truck, which drove off after the shooting, Flores said. Police found one officer laying in the street and the other in the driveway of a business.

Both officers were wearing bullet-proof vests, the lieutenant said, but he wouldn’t describe the fatal wounds. The policemen didn’t fire their weapons.

Lt. Joe Flores said the truck was stopped for ″a routine traffic violation,″ but he did not elaborate.

″We don’t know how it happened and we don’t know at this juncture why it happened,″ Flores said.

No arrest had been made by early today.

It was the first time a police officer was killed on the 125-officer force in at least 26 years, the lieutenant said during an emotional news conference at City Hall.

Several officers, including the lieutenant, wept during the news conference.

MacDonald, who leaves parents and a brother, had planned to leave the Compton force today. He had landed a job on the San Jose Police Department and was scheduled to start March 8, Flores said.

″Jim was the quarterback on our championship football team. He was a wonderful kid, probably one of the best kids to go through here. He was just an all-around kid,″ said Joe Sewell, principal at Piner High School.

″This is really depressing news. Jimmy was a wonderful young man.″

Burrell was survived by his parents and six brothers and sisters.

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