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Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr. has received the backing of Marines after being shot and killed by police in front of his two young daughters. Speaking publicly about such a case is against military tradition, but Loggins’ commanding officer at Camp Pendleton could not help but to challenge civilian authorities in their assessment of what happened to Sgt. Loggins.
Sgt. Loggins has been described by friends as a devout Christian who was deeply devoted to his pregnant wife and three children.
But the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs has a different story to tell. They say that Loggins drove his car through a gate at the San Clemente High School at 4:30 am and then got out while his 9 and 14-year old daughters were heard screaming in the SUV. The police say that the girls told police that their father had been acting strangely, with this happening as their dad was standing in a field yelling odd statements.
Sgt. Loggins allegedly returned to the truck and was warned not to start it. When he ignored the warning, the deputy says that he was forced to shoot him to protect the children.
Sgt. Loggins’ commanding officer, Col. Nicholas Marano, said this to the media: “While I am confident they will do the right thing in the end, I am less than satisfied with the official response from the City of San Clemente and Orange County. Many of the statements made concerning Manny Loggins’ character over the past few days are incorrect and deeply hurtful to an already grieving family.”
Sgt Loggins’ supervisor, Maj Christopher Cox, said Col Marano’s statement received support from the military:
“We’re glad he stepped up and made a statement over the way this has been handled,” he said.
“Everybody reads the report presented by the Orange County officials. Obviously it contradicts what we know to be the case about him. He was involved with his family. His relationship with his daughters was fantastic. They were a close family. To paint it any other way is not right.”
Tom Dominguez, president of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, issued this statement: “Our statement was about the events of the morning of February 7, 2012 and nothing more. We issued the facts not a commentary on the character of any individual in this case. We await the results of the independent investigation.”
Sgt. Loggins, who enlisted in the Marines in 1998, is described as a humble, hard-working Marine who received several medals. He was studying to be a nurse and volunteered at several nursing homes. Maj. Cox said that he worked with Sgt. Loggins daily, and there were no signs of trouble.
“Everybody wants closure but that’s difficult to do without information. It’s made it even more difficult over the fact that it was a shooting by a law enforcement officer,” Maj Cox said.
“It doesn’t add up for a lot of people here.”