Orange County News

OCDA report: Fatal shooting by deputy at San Clemente High was justified

Friday, September 28, 2012
Video depicts the fatal Feb. 7 shooting by an Orange County sheriffs deputy of a Camp Pendleton Marine.

Video depicts the fatal Feb. 7 shooting by an Orange County sheriff's deputy of a Camp Pendleton Marine. (KABC Photo)

The Orange County District Attorney's Office found a fatal deputy-involved shooting in February was justified, it was announced in a review of the incident released to the public Friday.

Manuel Loggins, 31, a U.S. Marine Corps sergeant, was fatally shot on the campus of San Clemente High School on February 7 by an Orange County sheriff's deputy.

Loggins was driving his SUV with two of his daughter inside when he drove through locked gates at the school at about 4:30 a.m. A sheriff's deputy observed the incident and proceeded to investigate.

The OCDA report agreed with the deputy's description of the subsequent events: That Loggins exited his vehicle while his two daughters remained inside in the back seat while he walked onto the athletic field. The deputy made contact with Loggins as he walked toward the athletic field.

Loggins returned within minutes walking back toward his vehicle. He barely acknowledged, then ignored the deputy and his commands to stop and show his hands. The report shows the deputy made several attempts to get Loggins to cooperate, but that Loggins was exhibiting erratic behavior, as if under the influence of drugs or suffering a mental breakdown.

Loggins walked to the driver's side of his vehicle and got in, despite repeated commands not to do so. Loggins then shifted the vehicle into drive, whereupon the deputy fired three shots at Loggins. The deputy stated he was in fear for the girls' lives, thinking Loggins would flee recklessly.

Loggins was pronounced dead approximately an hour later at a hospital.

The investigation comprised interviews with the responding deputy and other personnel at the scene and the two daughters present, and reviews of videotape from the deputy's vehicle.

Loggins was a Marine sergeant in an exit program at Camp Pendleton. He was being medically discharged due to a non-combat injury. He was also diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He and his family (his wife and three daughters) had been recently participating in a church fast. Both daughters present at the incident said Loggins had been acting strangely, angrily, "cuckoo." One daughter said she heard Loggins yell "Get away, Satan," while at the high school the day before the incident.

Loggins and his family had been periodically going to the school's track to do exercises and occasional bible study in the early mornings.

The OCDA report was submitted to Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens on Friday.

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