A predawn traffic stop that ended in the shooting death of a Marine Corps sergeant unfolded while the man's two young daughters were in the back seat of his GMC Yukon, officials confirmed Thursday.
Sgt. Manny Levi Loggins Jr. was shot early Tuesday by an Orange County Sheriff's deputy who said he feared for his life after Loggins drove erratically into the parking lot of San Clemente High School and ignored the deputy's commands, according to sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.
The deputy opened fire while Loggins' two girls, ages 9 and 14, were in the back seat of the Yukon, Amormino said Thursday, confirming a Patch story published Wednesday night. Neither girl was injured.
Amormino said the incident began around 4:40 a.m. Tuesday, as the deputy sat in his patrol car at San Clemente High, writing reports.
The deputy saw Loggins' white Yukon speed down Pico, swing into the parking lot through the west entrance and smash into a barrier leading to the athletic fields, Amormino said.
The deputy pulled up behind Loggins, who got out of the car and walked toward the athletic field, ignoring orders by the deputy, Amormino said. Then, Loggins stopped and returned to the Yukon where "something happened that made the deputy fear for his life."
Precisley what that was is "under investigation," Amormino said.
A 'God-Loving Family Man'
On Wednesday, as law enforcement officials remained virtually silent about the case, Loggins' friends and colleagues described the Illinois transplant as a deeply religious family man and raised questions about the shooting.
“We’re upset,” said Aaron Banks, a former corporal who served under Loggins. “It’s hard to tell—we don’t know the facts. Now that there’s police involvement, they don’t give us the right to know, but they get the right to get their story out. The media just doesn’t have all the facts. And why was he shot? If you read the articles, you have nothing to go on.”
Other sources who didn't wish to be named contacted Patch throughout the day Wednesday to confirm Loggins’ identity and report that his daughters were with him when the deputy opened fire. One source described him as a "God-loving, hard-working family man."
A search by Patch of criminal records in Orange and San Diego counties, as well as in two other counties where Loggins has lived, turned up nothing but traffic infractions.
On Thursday, officials confirmed Loggins' name and that his daughters were at the scene of the shooting.
Loggins, who died two weeks shy of his 32nd birthday, had been living in an on-base neighborhood just inside Camp Pendleton’s San Onofre gate, according to California voter records.
Loggins completed his Marine Corps training in San Diego in 1999, according to his hometown newspaper, the Joliet (Ill.) Herald News. The paper identified his mother and father as Mary J. and Manuel L. Loggins of Joliet.
According to a back issue of Hawaii Marine, a military newspaper, Loggins served on the island in 2005 as a personal property noncommissioned officer, handling shipments of Marines’ household effects as they transferred between assignments.
It was in Hawaii where Banks—then a private first class—said he met Loggins.
“I served under him in Marine Corps Base Hawaii in 2005 for about a year,” Banks said in a phone interview with Patch on Wednesday night. “He was my sergeant and he basically taught me how to be a Marine. He basically was a father figure to show me the ropes.”
Capt. Barry Edwards, a spokesman, said Loggins had not been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan during his career.
"His personal decorations include a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, two Navy Unit Commendations, three Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, a Korean Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal," according to a release from Camp Pendleton.
Banks, 28, who now lives in El Monte, said he has been in contact with a close friend of the Loggins family and fellow former Marines who knew the sergeant.
Until Thursday morning, officials offered little information on the shooting.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office—the agency that investigates all officer-involved shootings in Orange County—declined to comment, saying its policy is to remain silent until the investigation is complete, typically weeks or months after an incident.
And the county coroner's office, which is part of the Sheriff's Department, has thus far refused to disclose even the time of Loggins' death.
Orange County Fire Authority Captain Marc Stone said Wednesday that Loggins was in "full [cardiac] arrest" when paramedics took him to Mission Hospital Tuesday, meaning the medics were performing CPR and other measures as they rode to keep him alive.
UPDATE: On Friday, the Sheriff's Department released more details on the shooting. to read the story.