Widow of Marine shot by O.C. deputy files 'excessive force' suit
The widow of Manuel Loggins, the unarmed Marine sergeant who was shot to death by an Orange County sheriff’s deputy in February, has filed a wrongful-death suit in federal court seeking unspecified damages.
The suit accuses the deputy who shot Loggins, Darren Sandberg, of using excessive force when he encountered the Marine in the parking lot of San Clemente High School before dawn on Feb. 7.
Loggins, a deeply religious man, frequently took his family to the school’s athletic field for early morning "prayer walks," friends said.
The Marine was sitting in his SUV with two of his daughters, aged 14 and 9, when the deputy opened fire and fatally wounded him.
The Sheriff’s Department said that Loggins, who was 31 and based at nearby Camp Pendleton, had crashed through a gate in his SUV and ignored Sandberg’s orders not to restart the vehicle.
Sandberg, the department initially said, pulled the trigger because he feared for his own safety. But the official account was later revised, portraying Sandberg as a deputy who feared for the girls’ safety.
According to the federal lawsuit, filed earlier this month, Loggins "made no aggressive movements, no furtive gestures, and no physical movements that would suggest to a reasonable deputy that he was armed with any kind of weapon, or had the will, or the ability to inflict substantial bodily harm against any individual."
The lawsuit also accused Sheriff's Department personnel of "false arrest and imprisonment" for detaining Loggins’ two daughters for 13 hours after the shooting, during which the girls were not allowed to see their mother, resulting in "humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress."
The shooting is being investigated by the Orange County district attorney's office, which, as a matter of routine, examines officer-involved shootings.
-- Christopher Goffard
Photo: Marine Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr. Credit: U.S. Marine Corps