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"Officer Down"

Assault Weapons and the War on Law Enforcement

Section Three: Selected Incidents of Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty by Assault Weapons, 1998 Through 2001

Date: April 25, 1998

Location: Millbrae, California

Assault Weapon: Armalite M151A .223 rifle

On April 25, 1998, one police officer was killed with an Armalite M151A .223 rifle. Officer David Chetcuti responded to another officer's call for help in a traffic stop on the Millbrae Avenue off-ramp of U.S. 101. Officer Seann Graham had pulled over Marvin Patrick Sullivan for not having a current registration sticker for his vehicle. Sullivan, who was heavily armed and had bombs strapped to his body, opened fire, wounding Officer Chetcuti. Chetcuti returned fire hitting the suspect once in the side before being killed by two shots to the head from close range. Several of the bullets penetrated Chetcuti's bullet-proof vest, and more than 40 bullet casings were recovered at the scene. Officer Graham escaped harm by diving into a drainage ditch. Sullivan was arrested after leading several police cars in a chase across the San Mateo Bridge. Sullivan has been repeatedly declared incompetent to stand trial, and sent to a California state mental hospital.

Tyche Hendricks and Jim Herron Zamora, "Cop Killing: No Fremont Tie," San Francisco Examiner, April 27, 1998; "Judge: Man isn't competent; Defendant Sent Back to Hospital in Millbrae Cop Slaying Case," San Jose Mercury News, July 23, 2002.


Each weapon shown is representative of the brand or model of assault weapon and is not a picture of the specific weapon used in the shooting described in the narrative.

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  All contents � 2003 Violence Policy Center


The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.