[UPDATED with Memorial Today:] Manuel Levi Loggins Jr., Marine Sergeant Killed by Sheriff's Deputy Darren Sandberg
|R.I.P.: Sgt. Manny Loggins, Jr.|
However, the public and media are not invited to the service in the camp's chapel, at the request of the Loggins family, the Marines announced.
Financial help is being solicited for that family, which has a baby on the way. Send donations to: San Clemente Chamber of Commerce, c/o Sgt. Loggins Children's Memorial Fund, 1100 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente, CA 92672.
UPDATE, FEB. 22, 10:21 A.M.: With a former U.S. Attorney releasing a report Tuesday night on the Fullerton Police slaying of Kelly Thomas in Fullerton, just as San Clemente residents demanded a federal investigation into an Orange County sheriff's deputy fatally shooting U.S. Marine Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr., what hope is there for the rest of us between those north-south poles?
But first, a special message from San Clemente Mayor Jim Evert: Everyone just calm the heck down.
Da Mayor was reacting to resident Wayne Richardson's call for a federal probe of perceived excessive force by deputies who patrol San Clemente under a city contract. Another Evert constituent, Tim Brun, asked for an FBI investigation into the Feb. 7 incident that ended with Deputy Darren Sandberg fatally shooting Loggins in his SUV with his daughters in the back.
|Deputy Darren Sandberg|
Evert and Sheriff's Lt. Paul D'Auria, San Clemente's chief of police services, countered it is too early for such talk, urging critics to await an Orange County District Attorney's office investigation of the shooting.
Meanwhile, with the town and mayor having rallied around Loggins' family with emotional and financial support, Richardson requested that a city park be named after the fallen Marine.
ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 16, 2:30 P.M.: Camp Pendleton Marines are used to fighting enemies far, far away. But, acording to the camp's commanding officer, jarheads have one right in their own backyard: the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS).
The rift centers on dueling--and unusual--statements to the media this week from AOCDS president Tom Dominguez and the camp Col. Nicholas Marano concerning a Marine sergeant who was recently shot and killed by an Orange County sheriff's deputy.
As the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) revised accounts of what happened in the San Clemente High School parking lot around 4:40 a.m. on Feb. 7, friends and family members of fallen Sgt. Manuel "Manny" Levi Loggins, Jr. expressed shock, describing him as a solid dad, pal, citizen, Christian and, especially, Marine.
|Sheriff's Investigator Tom Dominguez (right) succeeded Sgt. Wayne Quint as AOCDS president.|
At first, the OCSD stated that Loggins was pulled over for a traffic violation and was shot outside the Yukon because the deputy feared for his life. The department later changed the account, saying the deputy watched Loggins crash through a school fence, get out of the SUV and walk away for about five minutes with the deputy in tow. Other deputies arrived to comfort the girls, but the Marine got back behind the wheel of the Yukon despite being ordered to stop. Loggins was shot while inside the vehicle because, the department now says, deputies feared for the lives of his daughters.
As with all officer-involved shootings, the Orange County District Attorney's office is investigating. And, generally, that would be it as far as public disclosures, with public officials going mum until prosecutors release their findings that nearly always clear cops of wrongdoing--or at least state there is no evidence proving such.
However, the changing OCSD accounts and glowing remarks about Loggins have fueled public mistrust, such as this a retired war veteran anonymously sent the Weekly:
Perhaps with visions of another Kelly Thomas situation dancing in their heads, the AOCDS brass took the admittedly unusual step of releasing the following statement:
AOCDS issues statement on deputy-involved shooting
SANTA ANA, CA-February 14, 2012 -- The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs rarely weighs in on open investigations into deputy-involved shootings. However, we believe it is important to correct certain inaccuracies in the facts of a deputy-involved shooting on February 7, 2012 reported by the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
On February, 7, 2012 at around 4:30 in the morning, Manuel Loggins Jr., 31, driving with his two daughters, 9 and 14, unseatbelted in the back seat of his GMC Yukon, plowed through a locked gate at San Clemente High School.
The force of the crash left sections of the gate embedded in the bottom of the Yukon and drew the attention of an on-duty sheriff's deputy who was in an adjacent parking lot writing reports. After coming to a stop, Loggins got out of the Yukon, ignored repeated orders from the uniformed deputy sheriff, and walked off into the dark, abandoning his two daughters left behind in the Yukon. The deputy began to follow Loggins on foot when he heard children's screams coming from the car. The deputy then returned to the Yukon, and found Loggins' two girls.
Loggins, now in a darkened part of the adjacent field, could be heard yelling irrational statements. The deputy radioed for immediate assistance, informing dispatchers of a hit-and-run accident and child endangerment situation. Additional Sheriff's personnel arrived and comforted the children in the back seat. Loggins' children told deputies their father had been acting oddly. A few minutes later, Loggins unexpectedly and quickly returned to his Yukon.
Deputies repeatedly ordered him to stop. Loggins did not stop, ignoring the deputies who now had their weapons drawn and got into the driver's side of the car despite multiple warnings. Deputies warned Loggins not to start the car. Loggins ignored these and repeated other warnings, started the Yukon and placed it in gear. It was then clear that Loggins was going to drive off and further endanger the children. As the Yukon began to move forward he was shot by the deputy next to the driver's window. The car was stopped, the children were removed and medical aid was rendered to Loggins, who did not survive.
"It is heartbreaking that Manuel Loggins created a situation that put his children in danger and ultimately cost him his life," said Tom Dominguez, president of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs. "The Manuel Loggins described by his friends and loved ones in the media is not the Manuel Loggins encountered by our deputies the morning of February 7, nor as described by the children to the deputies at the scene before he returned to the Yukon. It is unfortunate that his actions put his own children into immediate danger and resulted in his death."
"The actions of our deputy clearly prevented serious harm from coming to Loggins' two children and anyone else on the road that morning," Dominguez said.
The deputy involved in the February 7, 2012 shooting served honorably for four years with the United States Marine Corps. He is a 15-year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff's Department where he has twice been awarded the department's Medal for Lifesaving and the Medal of Courage.
AOCDS represents nearly 2,500 Orange County active and retired deputy sheriffs and district attorney investigators.