Patrolman Leo Pavlak was shot and killed during a robbery of a payroll.

Patrolman Pavlak was escorting two messengers from the post office when a car pulled up emitting a lot of smoke and two subjects got out. Patrolman Pavlak complied with their orders to put his hands up. At that time another patrolman came around the corner and the men opened fire on him, striking him several times. Then without warning the man covering Patrolman Pavlak shot him in the head with a shotgun.

The shooter was Arthur Barker, brother of Fred Barker of the infamous Barker-Karpis Gang.

Patrolman Pavlak had served with the South St. Paul Police Department for only four months. He was survived by his wife and four children and is buried in Cavalry Cemetery, Saint Paul, Minnesota.