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11/7/02 A California Highway Patrol officer, fighting for his life, used a secondary gun he carried to fatally shoot a man who attacked him Tuesday morning.

The incident followed a routine traffic stop on southbound Highway 101 about 9:45 a.m. between El Campo and Los Berros roads, between Nipomo and Arroyo Grande.

Dead is Gregory Clark Dudler, 37, of Burbank.

The CHP officer involved, Jason McEwen, in his 30s, was reported in good condition in a San Luis Obispo hospital, after suffering a serious injury to his left hand that required surgery.

The CHP was notified of a subject driving with a suspended driver/s license in the area of San Luis Obispo.

The subject vehicle was described as a white over gray 1984 Honda.

McEwen, on a traffic detail on the freeway between the two roads, observed the Honda with two occupants traveling southbound at a high rate of speed, according to Lt. Larry Davis, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff/s Department.

The Honda stopped for the CHP officer/s lights and sirens and as the officer walked to the Honda, the driver exited his vehicle and approached the officer in a threatening manner, Davis said.

The suspect, who appeared to be agitated for being pulled over, then attacked the officer, Davis said.

"As the officer fought with the suspect on the ground, the suspect was able to remove the officer/s service weapon from its holster," Davis said.

But McEwen was able to reach his secondary gun, Davis said. Several shots were fired, investigators said Tuesday.

The second occupant of the car, an unidentified local man, was not involved in the attack. After questioning by investigators, he was released at the scene.

The SLO sheriff/s coroner office conducted an autopsy Wednesday afternoon. Results have not been announced, but it is known Dudler was shot in the upper torso.

Officers of the CHP are allowed to carry a second gun, according to CHP spokesman Mike Poelking.

Staff writer Karen White can be reached at (805) 739-2217 or by e-mail at

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