A Camp Pendleton-based Marine, shot and killed by Orange County sheriff’s deputies, will be remembered by friends and colleagues as a standup guy who was soft-spoken, and willing to do the right thing.
The Orange County District Attorney’s office has taken over the investigation into the shooting death of 31-year-old Sgt. Manuel Loggins.
"It just hurts me to think a man lost his life, a good man like Manny, over nothing," Loggin’s friend Esperanza Solis said Friday.
"I don't believe any of the stories that came out," Solis said. "I don't feel that we're getting the real story out there of what actually happened."
Loggins, a father of three with another child on the way, was shot to death Feb. 7 while sitting behind the wheel of his SUV outside San Clemente High School.
Deputies said Loggins was seen driving through a locked gate and left the vehicle acting strangely. When he returned and tried to drive off he was shot.
The Marine’s 9-year-old and 14-year-old daughters were sitting in the back seat at the time of the shooting. .
The department initially said the deputy felt threatened, then later said the deputy perceived a threat to the girls if the vehicle was allowed to leave the scene.
"Even if he did drive away, there's so many other precautions they could've took," said Solis.
"He didn't threaten anybody, he had no weapon,” she said."
Dave Cohen served as the public information officer for the San Diego Police Department for 20 years.
Now retired, Cohen said he questions the information released so far in the shooting investigation.
"If additional deputies were there, and he was off in the darkness ranting and raving, how did they allow him to get back to the car?” Cohen told NBCSanDiego. “Did they not have less lethal weapons? Bean bag shotgun, taser, K-9's available?"
Cohen, who admits he was not there and doesn’t know firsthand how the events transpired, said he can understand deputies taking action if they were concerned for the girls’ welfare.
"They've got to act because if they walk away from it and he drives off a cliff and kills himself and them, he's got to answer to that," Cohen said.
Camp Pendleton commanding officer Colonel Nicholas Marano released a statement Thursday critical of how the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has handled the investigation.
The statement said in part, that Marano is “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."
Neither the DA or the Sheriff's Department would comment on the case Friday.