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Regis Deon THOMAS





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Member of a notorious Los Angeles gang known as "Bounty Hunters" - To avoid arrest
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: 1992 - 1993
Date of birth: 1970
Victims profile: Carlos Adkins / Kevin Burrell, 29, and James MacDonald, 23 (Compton police officers)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Compton, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on August 15, 1995

Sentenced: Aug. 15, 1995, age 25

Residence: San Pedro

Crime: Murder of two police officers

Date of crime: Feb. 22, 1993

Location: Rosecrans and Dwight avenues, Compton.

Victims: Compton police officers Kevin Burrell, 29, and James MacDonald, 23; Carlos Adkins of Los Angeles

Status: On appeal, opening brief filed, state attorney general working on responsive brief

The Rancho San Pedro gang member shot the Compton police officers execution-style when they pulled over his red pickup truck.

Witnesses said Thomas closely resembled the well-built man who wrestled with and overpowered the two officers before shooting them in the head.

Burrell and MacDonald became the first Compton officers killed in the line of duty in 26 years.

Thomas also was convicted of the 1992 shooting death of Adkins at the Nickerson Gardens housing project in Los Angeles.

Before the judge imposed his sentence, Thomas turned toward the officers’ families and offered condolence, but took no responsibility for the killings.

“I’m not Superman,” he said. “I couldn’t take out two people -- not two highly trained, armed police officers.”


Ofc. Kevin Michael Burrell and Ofc. James Wayne Mac Donald

Kevin Michael Burrell
Date of Birth: May 5, 1963
Date Appointed: July 3, 1988
End of Watch: February 22, 1993

James Wayne Mac Donald
Date of Birth: November 4, 1968
Date Appointed: June 4, 1991
End of Watch: February 22, 1993

The 125-officer Compton Police Department grieved for two fellow officers who were gunned down following a vehicle stop on Feb. 22, 1993. Reserve Officer James Wayne Mac Donald, 24, and Officer Kevin Michael Burrell, 29, were the first officers in the department to die in the line of duty.

At some time between 11 p.m. and 11:15 p.m., the officers were answering an unrelated disturbance call when they spotted a "possible traffic violation of suspicious circumstances," and decided to make a traffic stop on a customized red Chevrolet pick-up truck traveling westbound on Rosecrans Avenue from Wilmington Avenue. The pick-up truck was pulled over and stopped on Rosecrans Avenue just east of Dwight Avenue.

Based on witness statements after the event, Officers Burrell and Mac Donald approached the red truck and the suspect exited the driver's door. Reportedly, both officers were attempting to physically restrain the suspect, each officer was attempting to control the suspect's arms by placing them behind his back. During the struggle the suspect was able to arm himself from his person with a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and began shooting at both officers.

Upon falling to the ground, officers still received gunfire from the suspect. The suspect re-entered the truck and fled the scene.

The Police Department received a number of telephone calls from citizens who reported hearing shots being fired and/or observing two uniformed officers "down" in the street in the area of Rosecrans and Dwight Avenues. Compton patrol officers quickly arrived on the scene and observed both officers suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to their heads and bodies laying motionless in the street near the front of their patrol car, their service weapons were still holstered and secured and their backup weapons still in their pockets.

The information was broadcast over the radio and shortly dozens of patrol units from various agencies converged on the location. An intensive manhunt for the suspect was conducted throughout the night and days following. The suspect, later identified as Regis Deon Thomas and a member of a notorious Los Angeles gang known as "Bounty Hunters", was eventually identified.

Through news media coverage he became aware that he was wanted by the Compton Police in connection with the murders of Officers Burrell and Mac Donald, he arranged with the news media to surrender himself to a television reporter, who subsequently surrendered the suspect to authorities.

The suspect who was on parole was subsequently tried and convicted of the murders, he received the death penalty and is presently awaiting his appeal.



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