Image: Police investigators in Philadelphia
Joseph Kaczmarek  /  AP
A handgun was found by investigators looking into the shooting of a Philadelphia police on Friday.
updated 2/14/2009 12:16:27 AM ET 2009-02-14T05:16:27

A Philadelphia police officer was shot and killed while responding to a street fight Friday night, city officials said. Police returning fire shot and wounded the gunman.

Officer John Pawlowski, 25, was responding to a fight in the city's Logan section at about 8 p.m. when he was shot, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said. The officer was taken to Einstein Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The fight began with an argument between two men, Ramsey said. One said he was going to call the police, and the other responded, "If you call the police, I'll shoot you and the police," Ramsey said.

When officers responded, the gunman shot Pawlowski multiple times, the commissioner said.

Police returned fire, wounding the gunman, who was in surgery and listed in critical condition late Friday, Ramsey said.

Police recovered a .357 Magnum from the scene.

Pawlowski is the city's sixth active duty officer to be killed in the line of duty in the last two years and the first killed in 2009.

"It's absolutely devastating to all of us," Ramsey said. "I've been in policing for 40 years and have never seen anything like this before."

Officials said Pawlowski's brother was an officer who worked in the radio room, and his father is a retired officer.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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