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Deputy killed Marine out of fear for children's safety, officials say

February 10, 2012 | 10:31 pm

Marine Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr.

A veteran Orange County sheriff’s deputy feared for the safety of two young girls sitting in a parked car when he shot and killed a Marine sergeant in a dark parking lot near San Clemente High School, authorities said Friday.

Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr. was shot early Tuesday as he started to get into the SUV where his two daughters -- 9 and 14 -- were sitting, authorities said. Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the department, said the deputy was fearful that Loggins -- who he said appeared to be acting irrationally -- was about to drive off with the girls.

"The real threat that was perceived was the safety of the children," Amormino said.

"The deputy formed an opinion that he had a deep concern for the children, that he would not allow Mr. Loggins to drive away with the kids," Amormino said.

A former commanding officer said Loggins routinely went to the school with his daughters during the early-morning hours to walk the track and read the Bible.

Amormino said Loggins was not armed and that it doesn’t appear the incident was alcohol- or drug-related.

The shooting is being investigated by the Orange County district attorney's office. The deputy, a 15-year veteran, is on paid leave, which is routine in officer-involved shootings.


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-- Nicole Santa Cruz in Orange County


Photo: Marine Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr. Credit: Courtesy Loggins family