The family of a Marine shot to death last month by an Orange County sheriff's deputy filed a court claim Wednesday, charging that the shooting wasn't justified and his two traumatized daughters who watched him die were held for 13 hours afterward.
Los Angeles attorney Brian T. Dunn of the Cochran Firm said the daughters, ages 14 and 9, were kept from their mother and held for questioning after Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr. was slain outside San Clemente High School before dawn on Feb. 9.
"They just basically incarcerated them," Dunn told the Los Angeles Times.
He said the filing is the first step toward a lawsuit against the deputy, his department and the county.
Sheriff Sandra Hutchens told the Orange County Register the claim was "not unexpected."
"Right now we are waiting for the district attorney to do their investigation of the shooting," Hutchens said.
The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs has said Loggins plowed through a gate at the high school in his SUV with his daughters screaming inside, then got out and walked away.
The association said he was acting irrationally and refused to follow orders when he returned, and a deputy shot him, fearing for the children's safety.
Loggins' fellow Marines could not believe what happened to him, saying he was a devout Christian who was equally devoted to his family.
His commanding officer at Camp Pendleton has said he was "less than satisfied" with the official response to the shooting.
An attorney for the deputy Darren Sandberg, a 15-year department veteran who was himself once a Marine, declined comment when reached by the Times.
Loggins' widow gave birth to his fourth child, another girl, on Sunday at Camp Pendleton.