On the night of March 9, 1963, LAPD officers Ian Campbell (age 31) and Karl Hettinger (age 28), both former Marines, were riding in an unmarked "felony" car. They pulled over a 1946 Ford coupe containing two suspicious-looking men at the corner of Carlos Avenue and Gower Street in Hollywood. The two men, Gregory Ulas Powell (age 30) and Jimmy Lee Smith (a.k.a. "Jimmy Youngblood," age 32), had recently committed a string of robberies, and "each had a pistol tucked into his trousers." Powell, the driver, pulled a gun on Campbell, who "calmly told his partner, 'He has a gun in my back. Give him your gun.'" The two officers were then forced into Powell's car and, within 30 seconds after the traffic stop began, were driven north from Los Angeles on Route 99, to an onion field near Bakersfield, where Campbell was fatally shot. Hettinger was able to escape, running nearly four miles to reach a farmhouse.
On August 10, 2012, the intersection of Carlos Avenue and Gower Street in Hollywood, the site of the officers' abduction, was named “Ian Campbell Square” in honor of the slain officer. Additionally, a section of the Hollywood Freeway (California State Route 101) in Hollywood, from Hollywood Boulevard to Highland Avenue, was designated the “Ian J. Campbell Memorial Freeway."