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Deputies' union says it didn't mean to malign Marine's character

February 16, 2012 |  6:00 pm

The labor union representing Orange County sheriff's deputies issued a statement Thursday saying it did not mean in a previous statement to malign the character of a Marine fatally shot by a deputy.

"Our statement was about the events of the morning of Feb. 7, 2012, and nothing more," Tom Dominguez, president of the Assn. of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, said in a statement Thursday. "We issued the facts, not a commentary on the character of any individual in this case."

Dominguez's latest statement came just hours after Camp Pendleton's commanding officer issued a statement saying that he is "less than satisfied with the official response from the city of San Clemente and Orange County" in the shooting death of Sgt. Manuel Loggins, 31.

"Many of the statements made concerning Manny Loggins' character over the past few days are incorrect and deeply hurtful to an already grieving family," said Col. Nicholas Marano.

Marano did not specify what comments were incorrect and hurtful and did not mention the union's statement issued Tuesday.

In that statement, the association blamed Loggins for his death and said that he appeared to the deputy to be a threat to his two daughters who were sitting in his sport utility vehicle in the parking lot at San Clemente High School. The daughters were crying and told the deputy that their father was acting strangely, the association said.

"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 Feb. 7, nor as described by the children to the deputies at the scene before he returned to the (GMC) Yukon," Dominguez said in a statement Tuesday. "It is unfortunate that his actions put his own children into immediate danger and resulted in his death."

Loggins was shot after he refused to comply with orders from the deputy and instead attempted to drive away, the association statement said. He is survived by his wife and three children.

In his statement, Marano referred to Loggins as a "loved and respected Marine'' whose death has brought "an unprecedented amount of emails and phone calls this past week from current and former Marines who knew and loved Sgt. Loggins."

The Orange County district attorney's office is investigating the shooting.

Marano said he is "confident they will do the right thing in the end."

Said Dominguez: "We await the results of the independent investigation."

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

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