On Veterans Day, friends and family mourn Cpl. Allan DeVillena, a loved one they called AJ. Over the weekend, he was shot and killed during a standoff with Palm Springs Police. NBC 7's Nicole Gonzales reports.
The father of a Camp Pendleton-based Marine shot and killed by police in Palm Springs said the actions described by officials are uncharacteristic of his son.
Cpl. Allan DeVillena, 22, was shot and killed Saturday during a confrontation with police officers in the downtown area of Palm Springs.
"He's not the type to start anything let alone with a police officer. He was smarter than that," said Allan DeVillena Sr.
As he traveled from the family’s home in the Bay Area to Palm Springs, DeVillena said he had questions about the police officers' actions.
"No. There was no just cause," he said adding that his son wouldn’t confront police officers. "It's just not in him."
Officials say DeVillena used his car as a weapon against two officers, who the department said fired on the Marine and his passenger out of fear for their safety and the safety of others.
“One of the officers climbed partially through the passenger side window attempting to stop the vehicle,” said Palm Springs Chief of Police Al Franz. “The suspect accelerated directly towards the second officer, striking him and continued on with the initial officer suspended in the passenger side window. The suspect continued driving before crashing the vehicle near the exit.”
At just 22 years old, “AJ” as he was known to family members had already survived one tour in Afghanistan. DeVillena said his son had a lot of friends and stayed close with family despite his deployment.
AJ was based at Camp Pendleton but stationed at Twentynine Palms.
The passenger in AJ’s vehicle was not injured.
The two officers involved had four years on the force according to the NBC affiliate KMIR-TV. They have been placed on administrated leave during the investigation.