The sheriff's deputy who shot and killed Marine Sgt. Manny Loggins during a predawn traffic stop last week was Darren Sandberg, according to multiple law-enforcement sources who asked not to be identified.
Approached by Patch at his home Friday evening, Sandberg declined to comment, saying, "You'll have to take all that up with my department."
Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino also declined to comment, saying, "I don't know his [the shooter's] name." Amormino also said officials wanted to finish a "threat assessment" before deciding whether to release the deputy's identity to the media.
Privately, other sources named Sandberg, who worked as a deputy in Mission Viejo before joining the Sheriff's Academy in mid-2011 as an instructor. One source described Sandberg as "high-strung," and said some sort of "problem" led to his recent departure from the academy.
Sandberg has received praise and commendations in other quarters. Last June, shortly before he transferred from the sheriff's Mission Viejo station to the academy, city officials praised the deputy's service, according to minutes from the June 20 City Council meeting.
Mission Viejo Mayor Dave Leckness announced he would miss Sandberg, noting the deputy led scout and student tours at City Hall and "Darren’s participation is always the highlight of the kids’ tour," according to the minutes. Councilwoman Rhonda Reardon said she also would miss the deputy.
Earlier this week, the deputies' union issued a news release defending the shooting of Loggins as justified. Among other things, the union noted that the deputy in question, a 15-year veteran of the force, had been awarded two Sheriff's Department lifesaving medals and one Medal of Courage.
In 1996, Sandberg briefly resuscitated a 71-year-old heart attack victim he discovered while "returning home from training with another trainee," according to a Los Angeles Times story. Although Sandberg restored the man's pulse, the victim later died at the hospital, the paper said. Nevertheless, the deputy was given a lifesaving medal.
In 2007, then-Sheriff Mike Carona gave Sandberg another lifesaving medal after he and Deputy Kevin Geary saved a 52-year-old motorcycle accident victim they found bleeding in the street as they drove to work through Aliso Viejo. Sandberg helped perform CPR on the victim.
In 2005, Sandberg -- along with Deputy James E. Christian and Community Services Officer Marie A. Chasco -- received the department's medal of courage for actions taken during a traffic accident in which a driver was trapped in a burning car.
In contrast, the shooting of Sgt. Loggins has touched off considerable debate, with friends of the Marine describing Loggins as a deeply religious man who would never disobey authority or jeopardize the safety of his daughters, who were in the backseat of Loggins' GMC Yukon when he was shot.
The deputy's defenders say Loggins was acting irrationally and created the situation that led to his death.
On Feb. 9, two days after the shooting, Sandberg posted a comment on his Facebook page that said, "Thanks everyone for all your support. I am doing good. Love you."
The post was removed from public view late Friday afternoon, shortly after Patch began trying to confirm Sandberg's involvement in the shooting.
The Orange County District Attorney's office declined to comment for this story. The deputies' union referred Patch to the Sheriff's Department when asked to confirm Sandberg's name.
Paul Meyer, the lawyer representing the deputy who shot Loggins, didn't return calls to his office.