After 10 months on the force, Burbank Police Officer Matthew Pavelka responded to a call for backup at the Ramada Inn parking lot. It would be the rookie’s last ride.
The routine stop in November 2003 escalated into a hail of gunfire that left Pavelka dead and a veteran officer severely injured. The events of that night stunned the community and a police department that had not lost one of its own in a shooting since 1920.
The ensuing manhunt, which involved hundreds of local, state and federal agents, ended when the 19-year-old fugitive, David Garcia, was captured by Mexican authorities after spending two weeks in a small town south of Tijuana.
Though more than six years have passed since the 26-year-old son of a Los Angeles Police Department detective was killed, Garcia has yet to stand trial for the alleged killing.
Garcia was indicted in April 2004 on one count each of murder, attempted murder, possession of a controlled substance for transportation and five counts for weapons violations.