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Deputy Who Killed Marine Identified

Sources say Darren Sandberg, a former Sheriff's Academy instructor, fired the shot that killed Sgt. Manny Loggins Jr. on Feb. 7 in San Clemente.

By Roy Rivenburg and Adam Townsend

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.
JustUs March 07, 2013 at 09:59 PM
"That however does not justify the fact that you are clouding the issue of this man's murder with accusations and information that have ZERO bearing on this case." Stop communicating in gibberish and generalities. Be specific. Quote me. And we'll go from there. Otherwise I consider you a coward for making disrespectful accusations. "If you are truly interested in justice you will focus on the horrific death of Sgt. Loggins and leave the other bs you are so fond of behind." What's "the other bs" that you are referring to? Come clean or I consider you a coward. Quote me. And why won't you answer my question? Are you a cop? You moniker makes me suspicious. Why no answer?
GreenInOC March 07, 2013 at 10:20 PM
@JustUs, it's odd for someone who spends so much time on the comment section to come back and insinuate that they don't know how to follow them or to have any clue as to what they themselves wrote. I don't need to quote you - you can read for yourself what you wrote. I don't need to answer any personal questions about myself. Perhaps you want to share why you are so interested in my career and my undergarments? Consider me whatever or whenever you want, whatever helps keep you happy and stimulated. Just STOP cluttering up these comments with your thoughts that have NOTHING to do with this senseless murder.
JustUs March 07, 2013 at 11:22 PM
I figured you'd respond with more general gibberish without any specifics. So IMO you flunked the test and forfeited any semblance of board credibility. You didn't come on this board to enter into a credible discussion. You came on here to distract and demean. Now that's clear to me. You refuse to even discuss the aspects of Sgt. Loggins' execution with me, to include the evidence we've learned about thus far or the actions (or inactions) taken by those in power after the fact in response. You are just another blatherer. My recommendation is for you to go away and take your clutter with you.
Chris McLaughlin March 09, 2013 at 05:38 AM
Oh, look, the OC Board of Supervisors online Comments system is working again: http://ocgov.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?blobid=24496
Chris McLaughlin March 16, 2013 at 08:08 PM
The OC Board of Supervisors online Comments system is working for a second week in a row!! http://ocgov.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?blobid=24697

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